WALTER P. EATON
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Boy scouts in the White Mountains:
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Walter P. Eaton
THE BOY SCOUTS OF BERKSHIRE. A story of
how the Chipmunk Patrol was started, what they did
and how they did it.
BOY SCOUTS IN THE DISMAL SWAMP. A
story of Boy Scouting in the Dismal Swamp.
BOY SCOUTS IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS.
A story of a hike over the Franconia and Presiden-
BOY SCOUTS OF THE WILDCAT PATROL.
A story of Boy Scouting.
PEANUT — CUB REPORTER. A Boy Scout's life
and adventures on a newspaper.
BOY SCOUTS IN GLACIER PARK. The adven.
tures of two young Easterners in the heart of the
BOY SCOUTS AT CRATER LAKE. A Story of
the High Cascades.
BOY SCOUTS ON KATAHDIN. A story of the
HAWKEYE'S ROOMMATE. A story of the very life
of a truly American prep school — how the boys
studied, played and found lasting friendships and
learned the lessons of life.
Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive
Boy Scouts in the
THE STOR YOFA LONG HIKE
WALTER PRICHARD J^ATON
FRANK T. MERRILL
W. A. WILDE COMPANY
By W. a. Wilde Company
All rights reserved
Boy Scouts in the White Mountahts
The author and publishers desire to ex>
press their appreciation of the courtesy
extended by Small Maynard & Co. for
the use of the black and white plates used
in this volume, which are taken from their
« White Mountain Trails " and also to
•* The Northward-Ho " for the use of the
reproduction of the Presidential Range
used on the cover.
Sydney Bruce Snow
In memory of a cheerful fire
and a doleful broken egg
Lakes of the Clouds
I. Peanut Calls to Arms .
II. Getting Ready for the Hike
III. Fourth of July on Kinsman .
V. Lost River and the Ladies .
VI. A Strange Adventure in the Night
VII. Over the Lafayette Ridge, with
Dinner Party at the End .
VIII. On the Forehead of the Old Man of
THE Mountain ....
IX. The Crawford Notch .
X. A Fight with the Storm on the Craw-
ford Bridle Path
XL To THE Summit, Safe at Last
XII. Down Tuckerman's Ravine ,
XIII. Up the Huntington Head Wall .
XIV. The Giant's Bedclothes
XV. With Rob, Art and Peanut into the
Great Gulf ....
XVI. First Aid in the Clouds!
XVII. Peanut Learns Where the Six Hus-
bands' Trail Got Its Name
XVIIL Through King's Ravine and Home
Boy Scouts in the White
Peanut Calls to Arms
NOBODY who had seen Art Bruce in a scout suit
would ever have recognized him in his present
costume. He had on black silk knee-breeches. On
his low shoes were sewed two enormous buckles, cut
out of pasteboard, with tinfoil from a paper of sweet
chocolate pasted over them to make them look like
silver. Instead of a shirt, he wore a woman's white
waist, with a lot of lace in front, which stood out,
stiff with starch. His jacket was of black velvet.
Instead of a collar, he wore a black handkerchief
wrapped around like an old-fashioned neck-cloth,
the kind you see in pictures of George Washington's
time. On his head was a wig, powered white, with
a queue hanging down behind. As he came out of
the boys' dressing room into the school auditorium
Peanut Morrison emitted a wild whoop.
'* Gee, look at Art ! " he cried. " He thinks he's
14 BOY SCOUTS
George Washington going to deliver his last mes-
sage to Congress ! '*
Everybody looked at Art, and Art turned red.
" Shut up," he said. " You wait till you're all
dolled up, and see what you look like ! "
" Yes, and you'd better be getting dressed right
away,'' said one of the teachers to Peanut, who
scampered off laughing.
Art stood about, very uncomfortable, watching
the other boys and girls come from the dressing
rooms, in their costumes. It was the dress rehearsal
for a Colonial pageant the Southmead High School
was going to present. They were going to sing a
lot of old-time songs, and dance old-time dances
(the girls doing most of the dancing). The stage
was supposed to represent a Colonial parlor. Several
people had loaned the school old mahogany furni-
ture, the light was to come largely from candles,
and finally, while the party was supposed to be in
full blast, a messenger was going to dash in, breath-
less, announce the Battle of Lexington, and call the
men-folks of Southmead to arms. Then the men
would run for their guns, say good-bye to the
women, and march off. Art couldn't see why they
should march off in all their best clothes, and had
said so to the teacher who got up the play, but she
had pointed out that they couldn't afford to hire two
costumes for all the boys, so they'd just have to pre-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 15
tend they went home for their other clothes. Art
was not yet satisfied, however.
The girls were in funny old costumes with wide
skirts and powdered hair. They were all having a
much better time than Art was.
" Gee, they like to dress up," thought Art, as he
watched Lucy Parker practicing a courtesy before her
own reflection in a glass door, and patting her hair.
Peanut didn't have to dress up in these elaborate
clothes. He was the messenger who rushed in to
announce the call to arms. He was also his own
horse. Putting a board across two chairs just be-
hind the door leading to the stage, he took a couple
of drumsticks and imitated a galloping horse, be-
ginning softly, as if the horse was far away, and
drumming louder and louder till the horse was sup-
posed to reach the door. Then he cried ** Whoa ! ",
dropped the drumsticks, and dashed out upon the
stage. Peanut had been rehearsing his part at home,
and the imitation of the galloping horse was really
As soon as everybody was dressed, the rehearsal
began, with the music teacher at the piano, and the
other teachers running about getting the actors into
place. Lucy Parker was supposed to be giving the
party in her house, and the other characters came
on one by one, or in couples, while Lucy courtesied
to each of them. The girls courtesied back, while
i6 BOY SCOUTS
the men were supposed to make low bows. There
weren't many lines to speak, but Dennie O'Brien
was supposed to be a visiting French count, with
very gallant manners, and he had to say " Bon soir,
Mademoiselle Parker " (Lucy's ancestors had lived
in Southmead during the Revolution, so she kept
her own name in the play), and then he had to lift
her hand and kiss it. Dennie had never been able
to do this at any of the rehearsals yet without gig-
gling, and setting everybody else to giggling. But
this time the teacher in charge spoke severely.
" Now, Dennis," she said, " this is a dress re-
hearsal. You go through your part right ! "
** Yes'm," Dennie answered, feeling of the little
black goatee stuck on his chin to see if it was on
firm, and trying to keep his face straight.
When his turn came to enter, he got of! his " Bon
soir, Mademoiselle Parker " all right, and bowed over
her hand without a snicker. But, just as he kissed
her fingers, his goatee came off and fell to the floor.
Everybody laughed, except Lucy. She was mad at
him, because she wanted the play to be a great suc-
cess, and before he could lift his face, she brought
her hand up quickly and slapped his cheek a good,
Dennie jumped back, surprised. Then he picked
up his goatee, while Lucy stamped her foot. "You
great clumsy — boy I " she exclaimed.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 17
" Serves you right, Dennis," said the teacher.
"Well, I can't help it if it won't stick," Dennie
answered. '* Gee, I'll bite your old hand next
time I " he muttered to Lucy.
She ignored him, and the rehearsal proceeded.
Art entered next, with Mary Pearson on his arm.
Mary dropped a courtesy, and Art bowed.
The teacher clapped her hands for the rehearsal
to stop. " Oh, Arthur," she said, " don't bow as if
you had a ramrod down your back ! "
" Well, I feel's if I had," said Art.
" But don't act so 1 " the teacher laughed. " Now,
try it again."
Art tried once more to put his hand on his breast,
and bow gracefully, but he certainly felt like a fool
in these clothes, and made a poor success of it.
" Boys are all clumsy," he heard Lucy whisper to
one of the other girls.
After the guests had all arrived, they sang several
old-time songs, and then four boys and four girls
danced the minuet. Art didn't have to take part in
this. He was supposed to sit and chat in the back-
ground, which was easy. After the minuet, how-
ever, everybody had to get up and dance a Virginia
Reel. While they were in the middle of the dance.
Peanut's galloping horse was heard ; the dance
stopped, the cry of " Whoa ! " was shouted at the
door, and Peanut, in clothes made dusty by sprin-
i8 BOY SCOUTS
kling flour on them, dashed into the room, breathless,
and panted, " War has begun ! We have fought
the British at Lexington and Concord ! Every man
to arms ! The enemy must be driven out of Bos-
ton I "
There was nothing stiff about Peanut, and nobody
laughed when he came on covered with flour. He
was really panting. He gasped out his first sen-
tence, and ended with a thrilling shout. Then he
dashed forth again, and his horse was heard gallop-
ing rapidly away.
*' Peanut has the artistic temperament," one of the
teachers whispered to another, who nodded.
No sooner had Peanut gone than the men on the
stage piled after him, and while the women huddled
whispering in excited groups, they grabbed guns
and came back on the stage, when there were good-
byes and pretended tears, and Lou Merritt, dressed
up like a Revolutionary minister, gave the departing
soldiers his blessing.
"Just the same, it^s silly," Art cried, as the re-
hearsal was over. " Nobody ever marched ofiE to
war in silk pants and pumps. Why can't we put
on our own old clothes, with high boots, when we
go for the guns? Even if we don't have Conti-
nental uniforms, the old clothes will look more
sensible than these things."
** Sure ! " cried Peanut, to the teacher. " Look
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 19
here, Miss Eldridge, here^s a picture of the Concord
statue of the Minute Man. Just long pants stuck
into his boots. Let 'em just do that, and sling
blanket rolls over their shoulders, like Scouts. Then
they'll look like business."
**I guess you are right, boys," she said. "Well,
try it again. Who lives nearest? You, Joe, and
you, Bert. Run and borrow a few old blankets from
Ten minutes later Peanut once more galloped up
to interrupt the Virginia Reel, the men rushed out
for their guns, and pulled on their own trousers,
slung blanket rolls over their shoulders, discarded
their powdered wigs, and came back looking much
more like minute men going to war. They formed
a strong contrast now to the girls, in their fine
clothes. Art felt easy at last, with a blanket roll
covering his frilled shirt and a gun in his hand. He
gave commands to his company in a firm voice, no
longer halting and awkward. He even had a sud-
den inspiration, which undoubtedly improved the
play, though that wasn't why he carried it out.
Lucy Parker, she who had been so contemptuous
of boys, was acting for all she was worth in this
scene. Prattle was supposed to be her lover, and
she was clinging to him with one hand while bidding
him good-bye, and mopping her eyes with the other
Art as captain ^^f the minute men, suddenly strode
20 BOY SCOUTS
over to her, grabbed Prattle, dragged him away,
and put him into line with the other soldiers. Lucy
looked indignant, and forgot to wipe her eyes. Art
glanced at her triumphantly, and Miss Eldridge
cried, *' Do that on the night of the play, Arthur 1
That's fine — only don't glare at Lucy."
This inspiration rather restored Art's spirits. He
had got square with Lucy Parker, anyhow ! He
and Peanut dressed as quickly as they could, and
left the school building, walking home up the village
street, where sleigh-bells were jingling. Art grew
'* Hang the old rehearsals!" said he. "It's too
late to go skating."
** I like 'em," Peanut replied. " It's lots o' fun."
" You're an actor, I guess," said Art. " Gee, you
come puffing in just as if you were really out of
breath ! "
*' I am,'' said Peanut. " I get to thinking about
galloping up on the horse so hard while I'm drum-
ming that I really get excited. Why, how can you
" Guess you can't," Art answered. " But I can.
I'm not built that way. Play acting doesn't seem
real to me, it seems sort of — sort of girls' stuff."
** Thank you," said Peanut.
" Oh, I don't mean you, of course," Art laughed.
" But dancing, and all that — golly, I feel as if I was
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 21
wasting time. Wish vacation was here, so we could
get away somewhere into the wilds again."
"Sure, so do I," answered Peanut, "but me for
having all the fun I can while I'm in civilization.
Where are we going to hike this summer, by the
" Fve been thinking about that," said Art. " I
was thinking about it in study period — that's why I
flunked my history recitation. Got a good idea, too."
"Out with it," said Peanut.
"The White Mountains," said Art. " It came to
me while I was looking at that picture of the Alps
which hangs on the side wall. These mountains
about Southmead, they're not really mountains —
only hills. But we've had a lot of fun climbing 'em.
Think what fun it would be to climb real mountains.
We can't get to the Alps or the Rockies, but Mr,
Rogers told me once it wouldn't cost any more to
hike over the White Mountains than it cost us to go
to the Dismal Swamp."
"Me for them," cried Peanut. "That means sav-
ing twenty-five dollars between now and July.
Wow ! I'll have to do some hustling ! "
"You'll have to cut out some candy," laughed
" I've not bought any candy since — since yester-
day," the other replied. " Whom'll we take with us
on this hike ? "
22 BOY SCOUTS
"Anybody that will go," said Art. "Guess Fd
better call a scout meeting right away, and put it
up to the fellers."
" Sure, to-night," cried Peanut. "I'm going
home now to see if the old hen's laid an egg to sell I "
" You'll need a lot of eggs to save twenty-five dol-
lars," said Art.
"Not so many, with eggs at fifty-five cents a
dozen," Peanut replied. Then he turned in at his
gate, and began to skip sideways up the path, hit-
ting the soles of his shoes together in such a way
that he exactly imitated the galloping of a horse.
" Whoa ! " he cried at the door, and as he entered
the house. Art could hear him shouting at his
mother, " To arms ! The war has begun. We
have fought the British at Lexington and Concord ! "
Then Art grinned as he heard Mrs. Morrison re-
ply, "Have you? Well, now you split some kin-
Getting Ready for the Hike
FOR the next few months several of the Scouts
saved up money for the White Mountain hike.
Art, as patrol leader, and as originator of the idea,
felt that it was up to him to do all in his power to
encourage the plan, so he borrowed Rob Everts'
radiopticon (Rob himself was away at college now),
and secured from Mr. Rogers, the Scout Master,
who had been to the White Mountains many times,
a bunch of picture post-cards and photographs,
showing all kinds of views from that region — the
Old Man of the Mountain, the clouds seen from the
top of Mount Washington, the Great Gulf between
Washington and the northern peaks, the snow arch
in Tuckerman's Ravine, and so on. Mr. Rogers
himself came to the meeting and explained the pic-
tures, describing the places enthusiastically. Some
of his own photographs were taken at very steep
places on the trails, and here some of the boys
gasped. One picture in particular showed Mr.
Rogers himself climbing a ledge, almost as steep as
the side of a house, with a pack on his back and a
blanket roll over his shoulder.
24 BOY SCOUTS
" Gee, do you have to carry all that weight up
those places ? " demanded Prattle.
" You do if you want to eat and keep warm when
you get to the top," Mr. Rogers laughed.
" Me for little old Southmead," Prattle replied.
'' Yes, you stay right here, and dance the minuet
with Lucy Parker," said Art scornfully. " You big,
lazy tub ! "
Prattle bristled up, but the other Scouts laughed
him down. However, there were several more who
seemed, as time went on, to feel rather as Prattle
did toward the White Mountain hike. Some of
them got discouraged at the task of saving up so
much money. Besides, it was easier, when spring
came, to go out and play baseball than it was to
work for a few pennies, which had to be put in a
bank and saved for summer — a long way of!.
Others didn't see the trip in the light Art and Pea-
nut saw it. It seemed too hard work to them.
** They make me tired," Art declared one spring
afternoon. ** They haven't any gumption."
" Boys are something like men, I guess," Peanut
answered sagely. "Some men get out and do
things, an' get rich or go to Congress, while others
don't. Look right here in Southmead. There's
Tom Perkins, he's got everything you want in his
store, from sponges to snow-shoes, and he's rich.
Bill Green, who might do just as well as he does,
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 25
don't care whether he sells you anything or not ; he's
too lazy to stock up with fresh goods all the while,
and he's poor and don't amount to much. I guess
when Tom Perkins was our age he'd have gone
to the White Mountains with us, and Bill Green
"Probably," said Art, **but there are too many
Bill Greens in the world I "
" Right-o," said Peanut. " I'll tell you something
else. Art. Some of the fellers' folks won't let 'em
go. I was talking with Dennie's old man the other
day. Gee, he's got money enough ! He could give
Dennie twenty-five dollars and never know it. He
said, * What's the matter with you boys? Ain't
Southmead good enough for you, that you want to
go hikin' off a thousand miles ? ' He got my goat,
and I just came back at him I "
" What did you say ? " asked Art.
Peanut chuckled. "I wasn't exactly polite," he
answered. ** * Mr. O'Brien,' said I, * if you'd been
off more, you'd know that one of the best ways to
get an education is to travel. Southmead's only a
little corner of a big world.' * Well, it's big enough
for me, and for Dennis,' he says, and I answered,
* It's too big for you. You're so small you'd rattie
'round in a pea-pod.' "
" And then what happened ? " asked Art.
"Then I ran," Peanut laughed. "Gee, he was
26 BOY SCOUTS
mad ! Old tightwad I Dennie wants to go, awful
As vacation time drew near in June, the number
of Scouts who were going to be able to make the
trip had boiled down to four — Art and Peanut, of
course, with Frank Nichols and Lou Merritt. Those
readers who have also read " The Boy Scouts of
Berkshire " will recall that Lou Merritt was the boy
who had started in as a sneak and a liar. But that
time was long since past. He had lived with Miss
Swain now for several years ; he took care of her
garden for her, and made some money for himself
besides, raising lettuce, radishes, cauliflowers and
other vegetables. He was in the high school, and
was going from there to the Amherst Agricultural
College. Lou was now one of the most respected
boys in town, and Miss Swain was so fond of him
that she had practically ordered him to go on the
hike, for he had worked hard in the garden all the
spring, besides studying evenings. She was going
to hire a gardener while he was away, but the money
for the trip he had earned himself. In addition to
these four there was, of course, Mr. Rogers, the
Scout Master, and Rob Everts, who would be back
from college in a week or two now, and was going on
the hike for a vacation, before he started in summer
work in his father's bank. That made a party of six,
which Mr. Rogers declared was, after all, enough.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 27
" Just a good, chummy number," he said. ** The
Appalachian camps will hold us without overcrowd-
ing, and we won't always be worrying about strag-
glers getting lost/'
" What are the Appalachian camps ? " asked Art.
" The Appalachian Club is a club of men, with
headquarters in Boston," Mr. Rogers answered,
** and they do more than anybody else to make
hiking in the White Mountains possible. They
have built dozens and dozens of trails, which they
keep cleaned out and marked clearly, and at several
strategic points they have built shelters where you
can camp over night or get in out of the storm.
They have a stone hut on the col between Mounts
Madison and Adams, a shelter in the Great Gulf,
another in Tuckerman's Ravine, and so on. I've
been mighty glad to get to some of these shelters,
I can tell you."
"Gee, those names — Great Gulf — Tuckerman's
Ravine — make you want to get to 'em in a hurry ! "
cried Peanut. ** Let's plan an equipment right off."
**That is pretty important," said Mr. Rogers.
" We want to go as light as we can, and yet we've
got to keep warm. I've been in a snow-storm on
Mount Washington in the middle of August."
** Whew ! " said Peanut.
So the four Scouts began planning, at their shoes,
where plans for every hike ought to begin. As Mr
28 BOY SCOUTS
Rogers put it, ** a soldier is no better than his feet."
Each boy got out his stoutest boots, made sure that
the linings were sound so there would be no rough
places to chafe the feet, and took them to the cob-
bler's. If the soles had worn thin, the cobbler re-
soled them, and in all of them he put hobnails, so
they would grip the steep rocks without slipping.
None of the Southmead Scouts wore the kind of
scout uniform which has short knee pants and socks
instead of stockings. As most of their hikes were
through woods, this uniform would have been highly
unpractical, resulting in scratched legs. Besides,
all the larger Scouts, like Art and Peanut, said it
was too much like the clothes rich little children
wear I Instead, the Southmead troop generally
wore khaki trousers and leggings.
** I think leggings are going to be too hot for this
trip," Mr. Rogers said. ** We'll have very little brush
work to do. Suppose we cut out the leggings in
favor of long khaki trousers. We'll each want an
extra pair of heavy socks, and you, Lou, bring along
a needle and plenty of darning cotton, to repair
holes. Then we'll want an extra shirt and set of un-
derclothes apiece, so we can change in camp after
a sweaty climb. Also, we'll all want sweaters and a
*' How about food ? " asked Art.
" And cooking kits?" asked Peanut.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 29
"And my camera?" said Frank.
" One camera only I " laughed Mr. Rogers. " You
can settle whose that'll be between you. Most of
our food we'll get as we go along. But it would be
just as well if we got a few things before we start,
such as salt and a few soup sticks and some dehy-
drated vegetables, such as spinach, and maybe some
army emergency rations."
" Brr," said Peanut. " Art and I tried them once.
Taste like — well, Fm too polite to tell you."
** Nevertheless, you can put a small can in your
pocket and go off for a day without toting a whole
kitchen along," Mr. Rogers answered, '' and that's a
help when you are climbing."
" All right," said Peanut, ** but I'd rather chew
" He'll eat it just the same, when he gets hungry,"
put in Art. " Now, about kits. Can't we divide
up ? We oughtn't to need much stuff for only six."
"I've got two kettles, that nest, one inside the
other," said Peanut, " and a small frying-pan."
" Fve got a good sized fry pan," said Frank.
" And I've got a wire broiler, that shuts up and
fits into my pocket," said Mr. Rogers.
" And I've got a collapsible camp lantern, that
you can see to shut it up by," said Lou.
" Then we'll do with just those things," Art said.
" Of course, everybody' 11 bring his own cup and
30 BOY SCOUTS
knife and spoon. Oh, and how about maps and
compasses, Mr. Rogers ? Will we need compasses ? "
** You bet, we'll all take compasses. Everybody's
got to have a compass in his pocket before we start."
" Why?'^ asked Frank. ''Can't you always see
where you are going on a mountain ? Those pic-
tures of Washington you showed us looked as if the
mountain was all bare rock."
** That's just why we need the compasses," Mr.
Rogers answered. " You can follow a path through
woods, no matter how thick a cloud you may be in,
but when you get up on the bare ledges of the
Presidentials, the path is marked only by little piles
of stones, called cairns, every fifty feet or so, and
when a cloud comes up you can't see, often, from
one to the next, and if you once get away from the
path and started in a wrong direction, you are lost.
Many people have been lost on Mount Washington
just that way, and either starved or frozen to death.
If you have a compass, you can steer a compass line
down the mountain till you come to water, and fol-
low the brook out toward the north where there are
houses at the base. But if you haven't a compass,
and get to going south, you get into a wilderness,
and it would go hard with you. Mount Washing-
ton is really a dangerous mountain, even if it is only
6,293 teet high. The storms come quickly and often
without warning, and it can get very cold up there,
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 31
as I told you, even in midsummer. Yes, sir, we'll
all take compasses, and before we tackle the old boy
we'll have some lectures, too, on how to act in case
^ '* Don't we want maps, too ? " said Art. ** Gee, it
sounds more exciting every minute ! "
" I have the maps," Mr. Rogers said. " Here are
the government maps of the Presidentials, and here
is the little Appalachian Club book, with maps and
He brought out a small book in a green leather
cover like a pocketbook, and opened it, unfolding
two maps of the Presidential range, like big blue-
The boys leaned their heads together over it, and
began to spell out the trails.
" Gulf Side Trail," cried Art. ** That sounds good."
" Here's the Crawford Bridle Path — that's a long
one — shall we go up that ? " asked Lou.
Mr. Rogers nodded. " That's the way we'll get
up Washington," he said.
" Hi, I like this one ! " Peanut exclaimed. " Six
Husbands' Trail ! She goes down — or he does, see-
ing it's husbands — into the Great Gulf, and then up
again — let's see — up Jefferson. Wow, by the con-
tour intervals it looks like a steep one ! "
** It is a steep one — wait till you see it," said Mr.
32 BOY SCOUTS
Art had now turned back from the map into the
'* Listen to this ! " he exclaimed. " Here's a de-
scription of the Tuckerman Ravine path up Mount
Washington. It's three and six-tenth miles, and the
time given for it is four hours and fifteen minutes.
That's less than a mile an hour. Gee, I call that
pretty slow I "
"Do you?" laughed the Scout Master. "Well,
if we average a mile an hour on the steep trails, I'll
be satisfied. You wait till you hit the head wall
with a pack on your back, and a blanket on your
shoulder, and see how many miles an hour you want
to travel I "
" Keeps sounding better and better ! " cried Pea-
nut. " Golly, I can't wait I When do we start?"
It was agreed, as soon as Rob got home from col-
lege, to start the day before the Fourth of July, and
celebrate the Fourth in the mountains. Rob sus-
pected that Mr. Rogers suggested this date partially
in order to keep Peanut from getting into trouble
" the night before," as Peanut was always a leader
in the attempts to ring the Congregational church
bell, and this year the sherifT had declared he'd ar-
rest any boy he caught near the steeple. But Pea-
nut was too excited over the mountain hike to worry
much at losing the night before fun. On the after-
noon of the second, all five Scouts had their equip-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 33
ments ready, and brought them to Mr. Rogers'
house, which was nearest to the station. The next
morning they were on hand half an hour before train
time, and marched to the station with a flag flying,
for Peanut declared, as he unfurled it, that he was
going to plant Old Glory on the top of something
on the Fourth of July.
Two hours later they changed cars for the White
Mountain express, at Springfield, and soon were
rolling up the Connecticut valley, through country
which was strange to them.
Fourth of July on Kinsman
AS the train passed along the high embankment
above the village of Deerfield, Massachusetts,
the boys crowded to the windows on the left side of
the car, and gazed out upon the meadows where
they had camped at the turning point of their first
long hike, several years before. The village looked
sleepy and quiet, under its great trees.
** Golly, they need waking up again ! " Peanut
laughed. ^* Remember how we trimmed *em in
baseball ? There's the field we played on, too."
But almost before the rest could follow Peanut's
beckoning finger, the train was past. Deerfield was
the last familiar spot they saw. Their way led north-
ward, mile after mile, beside the Connecticut River,
and they began to get a pretty good idea of what a
lengthy thing a big river is.
*' Take a good look at that river, boys," said Mr.
Rogers, ** because in a few days we are going to
eat our lunch at one of its head waters, and you can
see what little beginnings big things have."
In the afternoon, they came in sight of Mount
Ascutney, close to the river in Windsor, Vermont.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 35
" That's only the height of Greylock, which we've
climbed," Mr. Rogers told them. ** But you'll begin
to see some of the big fellows pretty soon."
Sure enough, it was not long before Art, who was
looking out of the eastern window, gave a cry.
** There's a big blue lump, with what looks like a
house on top I "
Mr. Rogers looked. "You're right, it's a big
lump, all right ! That's the second one we'll climb.
It's Moosilauke." He peered sharply out of the
window. " There," he added, " do you see a sad-
dleback mountain beyond it, which looks like Grey-
lock ? That's Kinsman. We'll celebrate the Fourth
to-morrow, on top of him."
"Hooray!" cried Peanut. "I got two packs of
firecrackers in my kettle ! "
" How high is it? " asked Frank.
" About 4,200 feet," Mr. Rogers answered. " That's
only 700 feet higher than Greylock, but I can prom-
ise you it will seem more, and there'll be a different
Peanut was running from one side of the car to
the other, trying to see everything. But the nearer
they got to the mountains, the less of the mountains
they saw. After the train turned up the narrow
valley of the Ammonoosuc, at Woodsville, in fact,
they saw no more mountains at all. An hour later
they got oil the train at the Sugar Hill station. So
36 BOY SCOUTS
did a great many other people. There were many
motors and mountain wagons waiting to carry off
the new arrivals. The boys, at Art's suggestion,
let these get out of the way before they started, so
the dust would have a chance to settle. It was late
in the afternoon when they finally set out.
*' How far have we got to go? " asked Frank.
" Seven or eight miles," Mr. Rogers answered, " if
we want to camp at the base of Kinsman. If you'd
rather walk it in the morning, we can camp along
"No, let's get there to-night ! Don't care if I
starve, I'm going to keep on till I see the moun-
tains," cried Peanut.
The rest were equally eager, so up the road they
plodded, a road which mounted steadily through
second growth timber, mile after mile, with scarce
a house on it. After an hour or more, they came in
sight of Sugar Hill village, one street of houses
straggling up a hill ahead. They increased their
pace, and soon Peanut, who was leading, gave a
cry which startled several people walking on the
sidewalk. The rest hurried up. Peanut had come
to the top of the road, and was looking off eastward
excitedly. There were the mountains ! Near at
hand, hardly a stone's throw, it seemed, across the
valley below, lay a long, forest-clad bulwark, rising
into domes. Beyond that shot up a larger rampart,
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 37
sharply peaked, of naked rock. Off to the left, be-
yond that, growing bluer and bluer into the distance,
was a billowing sea of mountains, and very far off,
to the northwest, almost like a mist on the horizon,
lay the biggest pyramid of all, which Mr. Rogers
told them was Mount Washington.
" Some mountains, those I " Peanut exclaimed.
** Gee, I guess we won't climb 'em all in two
weeks ! "
** I guess not," Rob laughed.
They turned to the right now, passing a big hotel
on the very crest of the hill, and as they passed, the
setting sun behind them turned all the mountains a
bright amethyst, so that they looked, as Lou put it,
** like great big jewels."
"It's beautiful ! " he added, enthusiastically.
" Make a poem about it," said Peanut. '' Say, Mr.
Rogers, Lou writes poetry. You oughter read it !
He wrote a poem to Lucy Parker one day, didn't
you, Lou ? "
" Shut up," said Lou, turning red.
'' Well, if I could write poetry, this view would
make me do it, all right," Rob put in. " Now where
to, Mr. Rogers?"
" Getting hungry ? " said the Scout Master.
" I sure am."
" Well, in an hour we'll be at camp. All down-
38 BOY SCOUTS
" Hooray I " cried Art. " This pack is getting
The party now turned sharply down the hill toward
the east, and the great double range of the Fran-
conia Mountains, which Mr. Rogers named for them.
The highest peak on the north of the farther range
was Lafayette, 5,200 feet high. The northern peak
of the first range was Cannon Mountain, the Old
Man's face being on the farther side of it. To the
south the twin summits, like a saddleback, were the
two peaks of Kinsman, which they would climb in
the morning. As they dropped rapidly down the
hill, they suddenly saw to the south, in the fading
light, a huge bulk of a mountain filling up the vista.
*' That's Moosilauke," Mr. Rogers said. "We tackle
him day after to-morrow."
It was almost dark when they reached the val-
ley, and turned south along a sandy road with
the big black wall of Cannon seeming to tower
over them. It grew quite dark while they were still
** Hope you know your way, Mr. Scout Master,"
said Peanut, who had ceased to run on ahead.
** Half a mile more," Mr. Rogers laughed.
Presently they heard a brook, and a moment later
stood on a bridge. The brook was evidently com-
ing down from that great black bulk of Cannon to
the left, which lifted its dome up to the stars.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 39
" Halt ! " Mr. Rogers cried. " Here's Copper Mine
He led the way through the fence side of the
brook, and two minutes later the party stood in a
pine grove, carpeted with soft needles.
" Camp ! " said the Scout Master. " Art, you and
the rest get a fire going. Take Lou's lantern and
find some stones. There are plenty right in the
bed of the brook — nothing but. Peanut, come with
The Scout Master led Peanut out of the grove to
the south, and up over a pasture knoll a few hun-
dred feet. At the top of the knoll they saw a white
house below them, a big barn, and a cottage. De-
scending quickly, Mr. Rogers led Peanut through
the wood-shed, as if it were his own house, and
knocked at the kitchen door.
As the Scout Master and Peanut entered, a man
and a little boy arose, the man's face expressing first
astonishment and then joyous welcome.
** Well, of all things I " he cried. ** Did you drop
out of the sky ? "
'* Mr. Sheldon, this is Bobbie Morrison, otherwise
known as Peanut," said Mr. Rogers. " And how is
your Bobbie ? "
The little fellow came forward from behind his
father's leg, and shook hands. But what interested
him most was Peanut's sheath hatchet. In two
40 BOY SCOUTS
minutes he had it out, and was trying to demolish
the wood-box with it — not trying, succeeding I His
father had to take it away.
The Sheldon family all came to welcome Mr.
Rogers, and when he and Peanut returned to camp
they carried milk and eggs and doughnuts.
" That farm," Mr. Rogers said, " is about the best
place I know of to come to stay, if you want to
tramp around for a week or a month."
** They kind of like you, I guess," said Peanut.
** That's the kind of folks they are," answered the
Back at camp, the Scouts had a fire going briskly,
and soon supper was sizzling, and the smell of
coffee, made from the pure water of Copper Mine
Brook, was mingling with the fragrance of the pines,
and with another smell the boys at first did not rec-
ognize till Art examined a small tree close to the
fire, and discovered that it was balsam. They were
in the midst of their feast, when Mr. Sheldon ap-
peared, and sat down with them.
" You oughtn't to take 'em away from here with-
out showing 'em the falls," he said to the Scout
Master. " They are full now — lots of water coming
over — and I cut out the trail fresh this last winter.
You can do it in the morning and still make Kins-
man, easily. At least, you can if they are strong
boys," he added with a wink.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 41
" Humph ! " said Peanut, " I guess we're as strong
as the next."
Then he realized that Mr. Sheldon had got a rise
out of him, and grinned.
" What's the weather going to be to-morrow ? "
asked the Scout Master.
" Clear," the other man replied, ** I didn't hear
the mountain talking as I came across the knoll."
"The mountain whatf^^ said Rob.
" Talking, we say. You get it real still down here
sometimes in the valley, and way up on top there,
if you listen sharp, you can hear the wind rush-
ing through the trees. Then we look out for bad
" That's a funny way to put it," Lou mused. ** It
makes the mountains seem sort of human."
** Well, you get to know 'em pretty well, living
under 'em all the time, that's a fact," the man an-
swered. '* A good sleep to you."
"Good-night," called the Scouts, as he disap-
As soon as the supper things were washed, they
were ready for bed, curling up in their blankets
around the fire, for it was chilly here, even though
it was the night before the Fourth — a fact Peanut
quite forgot till he had rolled himself all up for the
night. He crawled out again, set off a couple of
firecrackers, and came back to bed.
42 BOY SCOUTS
** Gee, this is the stillest night before / ever saw ! ''
" It would be, if you'd shut up," grunted Art,
The next morning Art, as always, was the first up.
He rose from his blanket, aware that it was dawn,
and rubbed his eyes. Where was the dim black
wall of the mountain which had gone up against the
stars the night before? He ran out of the grove
into a clear space and gazed up Copper Mine Brook
into a white wall of cloud. Back the other way, he
saw that the narrow valley in which they w-ere was
hung along the surface with white mist, as the water
of the Lake of the Dismal Swamp used to be ; and
the western hills beyond it were in cloud. Yet over-
head the dawn sky appeared to be blue.
" Guess we're in for a bad day," he muttered^
peeling off his clothes and tumbling into the
shallow, swift waters of the brook. He emitted a
loud '* Wow I " as he fell into the deepest pool he
could find. Was this ice water ? He got out again
as quickly as possible, and began hopping up and
down to dry himself, his body pink with the re-
His " Wow I " had wakened the camp, and the
rest were sopn beside him.
" How's the water ? " asked Peanut.
** Fine I " said Art, winking at Mr. Rogers.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 43
Peanut, without a word, rolled over the bank.
His " Wow I " sounded like a wildcat in distress.
"Cold?" asked Rob.
" Oh, n-n-no," said Peanut emerging with chatter-
ing teeth. ** W-w-warm as t-t-t-toast."
The rest decided to cut out the morning bath, in
spite of Art's jeers. Even Mr. Rogers balked at ice
water. They were all looking, with much disappoint-
ment, at the cloud-covered mountain above them.
" Wait a bit," said the Scout Master. " This is
going to be a fine day — you'll see."
Even as they were going back to camp for break-
fast, the hills to the west, touched now with the sun,
began to emerge from the mist, or rather the mist
seemed to roll up their sides like the curtain at a
play. By the time breakfast was over, the sun had
appeared over Cannon, and the clouds had mysteri-
ously vanished into a few thin shreds of vapor, like
veils far up in the tree tops. It was a splendid day.
'* Well, I'll be switched ! " said Art.
** The mountains almost always gather clouds,
like a dew, at night in summer," the Scout Master
said. " Well, boys, do you feel up to tackling
Bridal Veil Falls before we tackle Kinsman ? "
There came a " Yes ! " in unison. All packs and
equipment were left in camp, and shortly after six
the party set out in light marching trim up a logging
road which followed the brook bed. It led over a
44 BOY SCOUTS
high pasture, and finally plunged into a thick second
growth forest, where the dew on the branches soaked
everybody, but particularly Peanut, who was leading
and got the first of it. The path crossed the brook
several times on old corduroy log bridges, now
nearly rotted away, and grew constantly steeper.
The boys were panting a bit. They hadn't got their
mountain wind yet. After two miles, during which,
but for the steepness, they might have been leagues
from any mountain for all they could see, they began
to hear a roaring in the woods above them. They
hastened on, and suddenly, right ahead, they saw a
smooth, inclined plane of rock, thirty or forty feet
long, with the water slipping down over it like
running glass, and above it they saw a sheer
precipice sixty feet high, with a V-shaped cut in the
centre. Through the bottom of this V the brook
came pouring, and tumbled headlong to the ledge
" Up we go ! '^ cried Peanut, tackling the smooth
sloping ledge at a dry strip on the side. He got a
few feet, and began to slip back.
The rest laughed, and tackled the slide at various
spots. Only the Scout Master, with a grin, went
way to the right and climbed easily up by a hidden
path on the side ledge. He got to the base of the
falls before the boys did.
" A picture, a picture ! " cried Frank, as the rest
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 45
finally arrived. All the party but Frank scrambled up
on a slippery boulder, drenched with spray, beside
the falls, and Frank mounted his tripod and took
them, having to use a time exposure, as there was
no sun down under the precipice.
*' Now, let's get to the top of the falls I " cried
Peanut. ** Is there a path ? "
** Yes, there's a path, but it's roundabout, and we
haven't time," the Scout Master answered.
" Ho, we don't need a path, I guess," Peanut
added. ** Just go right up those rocks over there,
clinging to the little hemlocks."
He jumped across the brook from boulder to
boulder, and started to scramble up the precipice,
on what looked like rocks covered with mossy soil
and young trees. He got about six feet, when all
the soil came off under his feet, the little tree he was
hanging to came off on top of him, and he descended
in a shower of mould, moss, mud and evergreen.
" Guess again. Peanut," the Scout Master laughed,
when he saw the boy rise, unhurt. " You can't climb
safely over wet moss, you know— or you didn't
" I guess you're right,'* said Peanut, ruefully re-
garding the precipice. ** But I did want to get up
" Forward march for Kinsman, I say," Art put ia
*' That's the business of the day."
46 BOY SCOUTS
They started down. At the incHned plane Peanut
decided to slide. He crouched on his heels upon
the smooth rock, and began to descend. But the
rock sloped inward almost imperceptibly. Half-
way down he was on the edge of the water, two feet
more and he was in the water. His feet went out
from under him, and sitting in the stream (which
was only about three inches deep over the slide) he
went down like lightning, into the brook below 1
The rest set up a shout. Peanut got up upon the
farther bank, and stood dripping in the path. He
was soaked from the waist down. ** Ho, what do I
care ? It's a warm day," said he. But he pulled off
his boots and emptied the water out of them, and
then wrung out his stockings and trousers. The
rest didn't wait. They went laughing down the
path, and Peanut had to follow on the run.
When he caught up, everybody was looking very
stern. ** Now, Peanut, no more nonsense," Mr.
Rogers said. ** You'll keep to the path hereafter.
We want no broken bones, nor colds, nor sore feet
from spoiled shoes. Remember, this is the last
time ! "
He spoke soberly, sternly. " Yes, sir ! " said
Peanut, not seeing the wink the Scout Master gave
At camp they shouldered their equip';nent, stopped
at the little store Mr. Sheldon kept in a wing of his
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 47
house, to buy some provisions and to say goodbye,
and at ten o'clock were tramping up the road of the
narrow valley, with the blue bulk of Moosilauke
directly south of them, Cannon Mountain just be-
hind to the left, up which they had gone half-way to
the falls, and directly on their left the northern
ridges of Kinsman, covered with dense forest.
Half a mile down the road Mr. Rogers led the
way through a pair of bars, and they crossed a pas-
ture, went panting up a tremendously steep path be-
tween dense young spruces, passed through another
pasture, and began to climb a steep logging road.
It was hard, steady plodding.
" I'm gettin' dry," said Peanut, " but my pants
still stick ! "
After a while, the path left the logging road, and
swung up still steeper through the trees. Suddenly
they heard water, and a moment later were stand-
ing on a shelf of rock over a waterfall, which came
forth from one of the most curious formations they
had ever seen.
" Another chance for you to get wet, Peanut ! "
laughed Frank. " What is this place, Mr. Rogers ? "
" It's called Kinsman Flume," the Scout Master
The flume was a cleft not more than eight feet
wide, between two great ledges of moss-grown rock.
It ran back into the hill two hundred feet, and was
48 BOY SCOUTS
at least thirty feet deep. The brook came into the
upper end over a series of waterfalls, and ran out of
the lower end, where the boys were, down another
fall. Frank took a picture of it, and then they
crossed the brook at the lower end, and followed the
path up along the top. The path brought them into
another logging road, which presently came out
into a level clearing. As they had not seen the top
of the mountain since they entered the woods,
everybody gave a gasp now. There, ahead of them,
was the summit — but looking just as high, just as
far off, as ever ! Art pulled out his watch.
" We've been going an hour and a quarter —
whew I " he said. " I thought we were 'most
"A little bigger than it looks, eh?" Mr. Rogers
laughed. '* Most mountains fool you that way."
The party plodded on a way across the level
plateau, and then the ascent began again — up, up,
up, by a path which had evidently once been a log-
ging road, but had now been eroded by the water,
till it was little better than the dry bed of a brook —
and not always dry at that. The boys began to
pant, and mop their foreheads. Then they began to
shift their blanket rolls from one shoulder to the
other. The pace had slowed down.
*' How about that mile an hour being ridiculously
slow. Art ? " Mr. Rogers inquired.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 49
" We're not doing much better, that's a fact," Art
Just as he spoke, a partridge suddenly went up
from the path, not twenty -five feet ahead, with a
great whir-r-r. When they reached the spot where he
rose, they found a tiny, clear spring. Art flung down
his burden, and dropped on his knees with his cup.
" Good place for lunch, /say," remarked Peanut.
** Me, too, on that," said Frank.
Rob looked ahead. The path was growing still
steeper. He looked back, and through the trees he
could see far below to the valley.
" One more vote," he said.
^* Carried," said Art, running for fuel.
After a lunch of bacon and powdered eggs, the
party lolled an hour in the shade, half asleep, and then
resumed the climb. The path very soon entered a
forest of a different sort. It was still chiefly hard
wood, but very much darker and denser than that be-
low. The trail, too, was not a logging road. It was
marked only by blazes on the trees, and the forest floor
was black and damp with untold ages of leaf-mould.
"I guess we've got above the line of lumbering,"
** We have," said the Scout Master.
Art looked about. ** Then this is really primeval
forest!" he exclaimed — '*just what it was when
there were only Indians in this country I "
50 BOY SCOUTS
He investigated the trees more carefully. " Why,
most of them are birches," he cried, " but they are
so old and green with moss that they don't look
white at all. And look how short they are, for such
*' You are nearly 4,000 feet up now, remember,"
Mr. Rogers reminded him, *' and they are dwarfed
by the storms."
They came presently out of this dim bit of primeval
forest into a growth composed almost exclusively of
spruce. It was thirty feet high at first, but the path
was very steep, and growing rocky, and in five min-
utes the spruces had shrunk in height to ten feet.
The boys scented the summit and began to hurry.
They struck a level place, and from it, in gaps be-
tween the stunted spruces, they began to get hints
of the view. A quick final scramble, and they found
themselves on the north peak. Peanut was leading.
His clothes were dry now, except for a new soaking
of perspiration, and his spirits high. Rob was right
on his heels. The rest heard their shouts, and a
second later stood beside them on a big fiat rock,
above the spruces which were only three or four feet
tall here, and looked out upon the most wonderful
view they had ever beheld. It made them all silent
for a moment.
Right at their feet, on the opposite side from
which they had come up, the mountain droppea
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 51
away in an almost sheer precipice for a thousand
feet At the bottom of that precipice was a perfectly
level plateau, covered with forest, and apparently
two miles long by half a mile wide, with a tiny lake,
Lonesome Lake, at one end. Beyond it the moun-
tain again fell away precipitously into an unseen
gorge. From out of that gorge, on the farther side,
rose the massive wall of Lafayette, Lincoln, Hay-
stack and Liberty, four peaks which are almost like
one long mountain with Lafayette, at the northern
end, the highest point, a thousand feet higher than
the boys. The whole side of this long rampart is so
steep that great landslides have scarred it, and the
last thousand feet of it is bare rock. It looked to
the boys tremendously big, and the one blue moun-
tain beyond it, to the east, which was high enough
to peep over seemed very high indeed — Mount Car-
Peanut drew in his breath with a whistle. Lou
sighed. '* That's the biggest thing I ever saw," he
said. Then he added, " And the most beautiful ! *'
To the southeast, below Mount Liberty at the end
of the big rock rampart, the boys could see off to
the far horizon, over a billow of blue mountains like
the wave crest of a gigantic sea — the Sandwich
range, with the sharp cone of Chocorua as its most
prominent peak. Facing due south, they could see,
close to them, the south peak of Kinsman, perhaps
52 BOY SCOUTS
half a mile away, across a saddle which was much
deeper than it had looked from the base. Beyond
the south peak was Moosilauke, seeming very close,
and on top of it they could now see the Summit
House. To the west, they looked down the slope
up which they had climbed, to the valley, where the
houses looked like specks, and then far off to the
Green Mountains of Vermont.
Peanut grew impatient. ** Come on, fellers," he
cried. " This ain't the top. What are we waiting
** Oh, let us see the view, Peanut,'* said Rob.
" What's your rush ? "
'• Well, stay and see your old view ; I'm going to
get to the top first," Peanut answered. " Where are
we going to camp, Mr. Rogers? "
'* Back here, I guess. There's a good spring just
over the edge below. We'll go to the south peak,
and then come back."
Peanut dumped off his pack into the bushes,
kneeled down and took out the flag and his fire-
crackers, and then slipped over the brow and dis-
appeared rapidly along the path which led across
the saddle to the south peak.
The rest waited till Art had put some dehydrated
spinach to soak in a kettle, and then followed more
slowly, seeing nothing of Peanut, for the path wound
amid the stunted spruces which were just tall enough
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 53
to out-top a man. They went down a considerable
incline, and found two or three hundred feet of fresh
climbing ahead of them when they reached the base
of the south cone. They were scrambling up through
the spruces when suddenly from the summit they
heard a report — then a second — a third — a fourth—
then the rapid musketry of a whole bunch of cannon
crackers. It sounded odd far up here in the silence,
and not very loud. The great spaces of air seemed
to absorb the sound.
When they reached the top, Peanut had stripped
a spruce of all branches, and tied the flag to the top.
It was whipping out in the breeze. As the first
boy's head appeared in sight, he touched off his last
bunch of crackers, and, taking off his hat, cried,
"Ladiefe and gentlemen, salute your flag in honor
of the Independence of these United States of
America, and the Boy Scouts of Southmead, Mas-
"Peanut's making a Fourth of July oration,"
Frank called down to the rest.
Rob laughed. ''From the granite hills of New
Hampshire to the sun-kissed shores of the golden
Pacific," he declaimed, "from the Arctic circle to the
Rio Grande, the dear old stars and stripes shall
wave — "
"Shut up," said Lou. "This place ain't the spot
to make fun of the flag in. I say we all just take
54 BOY SCOUTS
off our hats and salute it, here on top of this moun-
tain ! "
Lou spoke seriously. Peanut, who was always
quick to take a suggestion, instantly acquiesced.
^'Sure," he said. *' Lou's right. Hats off to the
flag on the Fourth of July ! "
The five Scouts and Mr. Rogers stood on the rock
by the improvised flagstaff, and saluted in silence.
Then the Scout Master said quietly, '* We can see
from here a good deal of the United States, can't we ?
We can see the granite hills of New Hampshire, all
right. We can realize the job it was for our ancestors
to conquer this country from the wilderness and the
Indians, to put roads and railways through these hills.
I guess we ought to be pretty proud of the old flag."
The boys put on their hats again, and Frank took
a picture of them, gathered around the flag. Then
Peanut let out a pent-up whoop. ** Never celebrated
the Fourth like this before I ** he cried. '* Golly, but
Moosilauke looks big from here ! "
It certainly did look big. It seemed to tower over
them. The western sun was throwing the shadows
of its own summit down the eastern slopes, and the
whole great mountain was hazy, mysterious.
" Are we going to climb that ? " asked Frank.
"Sure," said Art.
" Whew ! " said Frank. ** Makes my legs ache
already 1 "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 55
"It's easier than this one," Mr. Rogers laughed.
" Now let's go back and make camp."
The party retraced their steps to the north peak
where, just below the summit and overlooking the
precipitous drop to the Lonesome Lake plateau, was
a small but cold and delicious spring.
's " How does the water get way up here, is what
stumps me," said Frank.
** I suppose it is rain and snow water, held in the
rocks," the Scout Master replied. " Perhaps some of
it comes along the rock fissures from the south peak,
but that wouldn't be necessary. There is a little
spring almost at the top of Lafayette over there.
We'll see it in a few days."
" How do we get up Lafayette ? " asked Art.
" We'll come down from Moosilauke, and tramp
up the Notch down there below our feet now, till we
reach Liberty, climb Liberty, and go right along the
ridge to Lafayette, and then down to the Profile
House," was the answer.
The boys looked across the valley to the great rock
wall on the further side. The sun was sinking low
now, and the shadow of Kinsman was cast across.
Even as they watched, this shadow mounted slowly
up the steep, scarred sides of Liberty and Lincoln,
till only their summits were in sunlight, rosy at first
and then amethyst. The far hills to the southwest
began to fade from sight.
56 BOY SCOUTS
" Gee, it's time to make camp ! " cried Peanut
" Here's a good, soft place, on this moss."
He pointed to a level spot on the summit. Mr,
Rogers shook his head.
" Nix I " he said. '' We'd be chilled through before
morning. Which way is the wind ? "
Art picked up a piece of dry grass and tossed it
into the air. It drifted toward the southeast.
*' Northwest," he said.
** All right. We'll go down into the spruces to
leeward, and keep out of it."
The boys soon found a sheltered level space some
fifty feet below the peak, and began to clear out a
sort of nest in the tough spruce.
" Gosh, I never saw anything so tough as these
young spruces," said Frank.
Lou had been examining one he had cut down.
*• They're not young," he answered. ''That's the
funny part of it. This one I've cut is only four inches
through, but it's years old. I've counted at least
forty-five rings. Guess they are dwarfed by the
storms up here, like Japanese trees, aren't they, Mr.
The Scout Master nodded. " I've seen 'em only
three or four feet high, when they were so thick to-
gether, and so tough, that you could literally walk
on top of 'em without going through to the ground."
Peanut dropped his hatchet and sHpped down over
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 57
the rocks to a spot where the trees were as Mr.
Rogers had described. He tried to press through,
and failed. Then he just scrambled out on top of
them, and tried to walk. With every step he hali
disappeared from sight, while the rest looked on,
After a few steps, he came back. His hands and
face were scratched, and there was a tear in his
"Excuse me!^' he cried. "Gee, the Dismal
Swamp has nothing on those mountain spruces I
Golly, I begin to admire the man who made this path
up here ! "
The spruce boughs were so tough, in fact, that only
the tips could be used for bedding, and the boys had
to trim the branches with their knives to make their
bunks on the ground. The camp-fire was built of
dead spruce, with some live stumps added, and a
kettle of water kept beside it lest a spark ignite the
trees close by. Night had come on before supper
was ready, and with the coming of night it grew
cold, colder than the boys had guessed it could be in
July. They put on their sweaters, which, all day,
they had been complaining about as extra weight,
and they kept close to the fire while Art, with the
skill of a juggler, tossed the flapjacks from one side
to the other in his fry pan, catching them neatly as
they came down. The wind rose higher, and began
58 BOY SCOUTS
to moan through the spruces. Far below them was
the great black hole of the Notch — just a yawning
pit with no bottom. Beyond it the shadowy bulk
of Lafayette, Lincoln, Haystack and Liberty loomed
up against the starry sky. From this side, not a sin-
gle light was visible anywhere in the universe. The
boys ate their supper almost in silence.
** Gee, this is lonely ! " Peanut suddenly blurted
out " I'm going where I can see a light." He got
up and climbed to the summit again, followed by all
the others except Lou. They could look westward
from the peak, and see the lamps in the houses
down in the valley, and the blazing lights of the big
hotel on Sugar Hill, and even the street lights in
"There is somebody else in the world I" cried
Peanut. ** Glad of that. I was beginning to think
Just as he spoke, a rocket suddenly went up from
Sugar Hill, and burst in the air. It was followed by
another, and another. The boys yelled at Lou to
come and see the fireworks.
" Oh, dear," sighed Peanut, ** why didn't I bring a
rocket — just one would be better'n none. Wouldn't
it be some sight for the folks down there to see it
going up from the top of this old mountain, eh ? "^
"That would be some celebration, O. K.," Art
cried. " My, let's come again next year and do it I "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 59
Lou slipped back to camp presently, and Mr.
Rogers, returning before the rest, found him sitting
on a rock overlooking the black pit of the Notch,
gazing out into space.
** What is it, Lou ? " he said. " A penny for your
'* I was thinking," Lou answered, ** that I was
never so near the stars before. I suppose four thou-
sand feet isn't much in a billion miles, but somehow
they look bigger, and I can almost feel the earth
rolling over under 'em. It's the funniest sensation I
"You're a poet, Lou," said the Scout Master
kindly, as he turned to call the rest to bed.
" All hands to bunk I " he shouted. " We've had
a hard day, with a harder one ahead."
The Scouts got off their boots and rolled up in
their blankets, all of them glad of the chance. Lou
blew out the lantern, and turned in, also. The wind
which rushed steadily overhead, with a moaning
sound, did not reach them down here to leeward of
the peak, amid the thick spruces. But it was cold,
nonetheless. They lay close together, and drew
their blankets tight.
" A funny Fourth," said Peanut sleepily. ** Hope
we don't roll of! in our sleep. Good-night, every-
But there was no reply. Every one else was asleep.
EVERYBODY was awake eairly the next morning.
"Gosh, I didn't sleep very well!" said Pea-
nut, shivering as he built up the fire. "Here it is
the fifth of July, and me wrapped up in an army
blanket, with a sweater on — and cold. Kept waking
up, and getting closer to Art. He's kind o' fat and
makes a good stove."
"Should think you did!" said Art. "You woke
me up about forty- 'leven times bumping your
back into mine. I wasn't very cold. Been warmer,
"If it's cold here," put in Rob, "at four thousand
feet, what '11 it be on Washington at six thousand?"
"I guess we'll sleep inside on Washington," said
"Oh, no!" cried Art.
"Well, you can bunk outside, and the rest of us'U
go in," laughed Frank. "Look, there's the sun!"
Sure enough, in the east, across the white cloud
which hung below them in the Notch, and beyond
the wall of the Lafayette range, a great red ball was
rising. It seemed to heave up above the mists as
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 6i
though somebody was pushing it from underneath,
and as it got up and cast its rays across the Notch
to their feet, Lafayette looked hke a huge island of
rock above a white sea of vapor. This vapor rolled
up and blew away as they were eating breakfast.
The morning was fine and clear. Mr. Rogers
pointed toward Moosilauke. ''That's where we'll
be at night," he said.
** It doesn't look possible 1 " said Lou.
** It won't be, if we don't start," said Art. " Got
your flag, Peanut, or did you leave it on the south
peak ? "
" I got it, all right," Peanut replied. " Are we
ready ? How far is it, Mr. Rogers ? "
*' Hm — four miles down this mountain,— ten to the
base of Moosilauke — five miles up — nineteen miles."
"A pickle,'^ said Peanut, and pack on back he
plunged over the summit, and down the path into
the spruces, the rest trailing behind.
" Go after him, Rob," said the Scout Master, **and
hold him back. He'll tire his front leg muscles all
out, if he doesn't break his neck."
Rob went, and held Peanut by main force till the
rest came up.
" You couldn't have held me," cried Peanut, ** if I
hadn't wanted to say that we could go down easier
with poles. We ought to have brought our poles.
What can we cut for 'em ? "
62 BOY SCOUTS
" Moose wood/' said Art. " I saw moose wood a
bit further down, as we came up."
So the party plunged on, finding the steep de-
scent quick work, the chief difficulty being not to go
too fast. At the first sign of moose wood. Art gave
a cry, and soon the whole party had cut staves six
" I'm going to leave this pretty green and white
bark on mine, and cut my initials in it to-night,"
'* A good idea," the rest agreed.
Shouldering their packs again, they put out the
staves ahead of them, threw their weight forward,
and with this assistance descended with even greater
rapidity and much more safety. They stopped in
the Flume only long enough for a drink, and again
plunged down. As they came out into the level pas-
ture near the base. Peanut slowed down.
** Wow," he said, wiping his forehead, " that looks
easy, but you really work awful hard holding in I "
"You'll know you've worked about to-morrow,"
Mr. Rogers laughed.
They made the four miles to the road in a little over
half an hour, which, as Art said, is " going some."
It was less than eight o'clock when they faced the
ten miles of road to Moosilauke.
The first thing to attract particular attention was
^he village of Easton, through which they passed
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 63
half an hour later. Of the half dozen houses in the
village, two were quite abandoned. There was a
tiny store, and a small sawmill, and that was all.
Beyond the village they passed an abandoned church.
Then followed two or three small houses, also aban-
doned, and then nothing but the narrow, sandy road,
winding through woods and fields, with Kinsman
growing farther behind them on the left, and Moosi-
lauke nearer straight ahead. They went for more
than an hour without meeting a single wagon or
motor, and after they left Easton they did not see a
" Pretty lively little road, this," said Peanut.
"Makes you think of Broadway, New York,"
" Look ! " said Lou. " Moosilauke isn't blue any
longer. You can see the green of the forest."
" You can see what was a. forest," said Mr. Rogers.
'* The paper company have stripped it."
** Why paper ? " asked Peanut.
"Why paper!" Art sniffed. "You poor boob,
don't you know that paper is made out of wood
pulp ? "
" I thought it was made out of old rags," Peanut
" It is," said Rob.
" Well— what "
Everybody laughed. " Newspaper is made of
64 BOY SCOUTS
wood pulp — spruce and balsam almost entirely,"
said the Scout Master, taking pity on Peanut.
" Linen paper, such as the kind you write letters on,
is made out of linen rags. The newspapers use up so
much paper for their great Sunday editions, es-
pecially, that they are really doing almost more to
strip the forests than the lumbermen, because they
don't even have to wait till the trees get good sized."
" Why can't they use anything except spruce and
balsam ? " asked Lou. " Won't other kinds of wood
make paper ? "
" They'll make paper," said Mr. Rogers, " but the
fibre isn't tough enough to stand the strain of the
presses. You know, a newspaper press has to print
many thousands of copies an hour ; it runs at high
speed. The paper is on a huge roll, and it unwinds
like a ribbon into the press. It has to be tough
enough so that it won't break as it is being unwound.
There's a fortune waiting for the man who can in-
vent a tough paper which can be made out of corn-
stalks, or something which can be grown every year,
like a crop. Think how it would save our forests I
I'm told that every Sunday edition of a big New
York newspaper uses up about eleven acres of
" Gee, Sunday papers ain't worth it I " Art ex-
** They are not, that's a fact," Mr. Rogers agreed.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 65
" I don't see," Lou put in, " why a paper mill
couldn't buy up a great tract of woodland, and then
forest it scientifically, taking out the big trees every
year, and planting little ones. I shouldn't think it
would cost any more than it would to haul lumber to
the mills from all over creation."
" It wouldn't, Lou," said Mr. Rogers, " but we in
America haven't learned yet to do things that way.
Our big mills and business concerns are all too care-
less and selfish and wasteful. And the public is
paying the penalty. Look at that "
They had come around a bend in the road, close
to the north shoulder of the mountain now, and could
see how all the upper slopes had been stripped down
to bare soil by the lumbermen.
" That soil will probably dry out, landslides or fires
will come, and it may be a thousand years before the
mountain is forested again," Mr. Rogers exclaimed.
"It's a perfect outrage ! "
The party presently came into a crossroad, run-
ning east and west. It was a bit more traveled than
the one they were on. They turned down it to the
left, and reached a curious settlement, or rather the
remains of a settlement. There were several rough,
unpainted board houses, a timber dam across a small
river, and everywhere on the ground lay old sawdust,
beginning to rot down, with bushes growing up
66 BOY SCOUTS
"This is Wildwood. It's all that remains of a
lumber town," said Mr. Rogers. ** The mill stood
by that dam. They cleared all this end of the valley
many years ago, and sent their lumber on teams
down the Wild Ammonoosuc valley to the railroad."
The party now turned south again, crossed the
Wild Ammonoosuc at the dam, and began ascending
gradually along a road which seemed to be making
for the notch on the west side of Moosilauke.
" Only two miles more to the base," said the Scout
Art looked at his watch. " It's only eleven o'clock,"
he said. " Couldn't we have a swim in that brook
down there ? I'm awful hot."
"Me, too," said Peanut. "And my bloomin' old
boot is hurting my heel. I want to fix it."
"That's because you got it so wet yesterday,"
said Rob. " For heaven's sake, take your clothes
ofi before you go in to-day I "
Everybody turned from the road to the brook,
which was almost a small river. It came down from
the sides of Moosilauke, and evidently joined the
Wild Ammonoosuc near the dam. In a moment
five boys and a man were sticking their toes into
It gingerly, and withdrawing them with various
" Ouches I " and " Wows ! "
"Cowards I" cried Art. "Here goes. What's
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 67
He selected a pool between two big stones, and
went all under. The rest followed suit. There was
no place deep enough to swim in, however, and they
all very soon came out, and dried themselves on the
" My, that makes you feel better, though ! "
Frank exclaimed. " Nothing like a bath on a hike
to set you up 1 "
"I got a blister," said Peanut, who was examin-
ing his heel. *'Oh, dear, who*s got the first aid
Rob had it, of course, as he was always the doctor.
He put some antiseptic on the blister, which had
burst, dressed it, and bound it firmly across with
surgeon's plaster, so the shoe could not rub it.
" You wouldn't have had it if you hadn't got your
feet so wet yesterday," he said. ** The leather dried
stiff. Perhaps you'll behave now."
" Yes, doctor, what is your fee ? " Peanut grinned.
The other five pairs of feet were all right, and the
march was resumed. At noon they emerged out of
the woods into a small clearing on the west side of
Moosilauke. There was a tiny hotel in this clearing,
and nothing else. On the right, a second, but much
lower mountain, Mount Clough, went sharply up.
Due south was a deep gap, like a V, between Clough
and Moosilauke — the notch which led to the towns
68 BOY SCOUTS
** Here's where the path begins," said the Scout
Master. " WeVe • done fourteen miles, at least, this
morning. I guess we'll have lunch."
" Let's get up into the woods first, by a spring,"
the boys urged, so they entered on the path, which
immediately began to go up at a steepish angle
through a forest of hard wood — a very ancient forest.
" Looks as if it had never been lumbered," said
Art. " Wow ! look at the size of those maples and
beeches 1 "
"The paper men don't want hard wood, thank
goodness," Mr. Rogers answered. " We'll get about
a mile of this."
They soon found a spring beside the path, and
under the shadows of the great trees they made a
fire and cooked lunch. Then, for an hour, every-
body rested, lying on his back and listening to the
beautiful songs of the hermit thrushes. Peanut and
Art and Frank went to sleep, while Lou and Rob
and Mr. Rogers talked softly. It was a lazy, peace-
ful hour, up there in the great forest. At two o'clock
Rob beat a tattoo on his frying-pan, to wake up the
sleepers, and ordered the march to begin.
For the next two hours it was steady plodding.
The Benton Path, by which they were climbing, was
clear and good. They came out of the hard timber
forest in a little over half an hour, into slash land,
now growing up into scraggly woods, full of vines
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 69
and brambles, and presendy the path wound to the
edge of a steep ravine, where they could look down
at the tumbling waterfalls of the brook they had
swum in that morning, and across the ravine to the
stripped northern shoulders. The second hour of
climbing was merely monotonous ascent, toilsome
and slow, with no view at all. They had now put
four miles below them, and the signs of lumbering
ceased. They were getting close to timber line,
where the stunted spruces were not worth cutting.
For a littie way the path grew less steep, and they
quickened their pace. The trees were now no higher
than bushes. They saw the summit ahead, though
the house seemed to have disappeared ; and the view
opened out. Westward they could see to the Green
Mountains, and beyond the Green Mountains, like a
blue haze, the Adirondacks. At their feet they began
to notice tiny mountain cranberry vines. Peanut
tasted one of the half ripe cranberries, puckered up
his face, and spit it hastily out. The path grew steep
again. The trees vanished. The way grew rocky,
with cranberries between the rocks everywhere. At
last only the final heave to the summit seemed to
confront them. Peanut, forgetting his lame heel,
panted up ahead, and emitted a cry of disappoint-
'' Gee whiz," he shouted back, " there's the Sum-
mit House a quarter of a mile away I '*
70 BOY SCOUTS
** You'll learn yet that you're never on the top of a
mountain till you get there," Mr. Rogers laughed.
But this final quarter mile was nearly level — or
seemed so after the steep climb — and they were soon
at the Summit House, with the view spread out to
all four parts of the compass.
What a view it was I But all the boys concen-
trated their gaze in one direction — northeast.
There, thirty miles or more away, over the top of
the Lafayette range, they saw Mount Washington
again, for the first time since the first Sugar Hill
view, saw even the Summit House on its cone.
That was the final goal of their hike — the high spot
— and beside it all the billowing sea of blue mountain
tops between paled to insignificance.
" She looks a long way of! ! " said Art.
" And me with a blister," sighed Peanut. " But
it's Pike's Peak — I mean Washington — or bust I "
The party now turned their attention to the Sum-
mit House, which was a two-story structure of fair
size, built partly of stone, with great chains going
over it to lash it down.
** I suppose if it wasn't chained down it would blow
away in winter," said Art. ** Strikes me we're going
to get some blow, even to-night."
The west did, indeed, look windy, with great
clouds suddenly piling up. But the Scout Master
said you could never tell much about mountain
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 71
weather — at least he couldn't. They entered the
little hotel to see the inside. Several people were
there already. At the back of the room was a big
stove, with a fire in it, too. To the boys, who had
but just arrived after their hot climb, the room
seemed uncomfortably warm.
"Going to spend the night here? Don't know
whether I've got room for you all," said the
"No, we're going to sleep out," Rob answered
him. " We never sleep inside on a hike."
"Well, I reckon you'll need your blankets," the
man said. " The water froze here last night, in the
" What's that ? " put in Peanut, who was examin-
ing picture post-cards. " Say, I move we go back
down a way to camp."
" I do too, if you're going to try again to warm
yourself between my shoulder blades," said Art.
Everybody laughed, and a man came forward
from behind the stove — a funny looking man, with
big, hobnail shoes and big, shell-rimmed spectacles.
" Which way are you going down the mountain
in the morning ? " he asked.
" By the Beaver Brook Trail," Mr. Rogers an-
" Oh, that's all right, then," said their new ac-
quaintance. " You stay up here long enough to see
72 BOY SCOUTS
the sunset, and then I'll take you down the trail into
the woods beyond the head of Jobildunk Ravine.
You'll keep warm in there, all right."
*' Can you find your way back, sir ? " asked Lou.
The man's eyes twinkled. '* If I can't, I deserve
to be lost," he answered. '* I've lived a month on
top of this mountain every summer for more years
than I care to confess."
** Gee, it must be slow up here all that time ! " said
" What do you mean, slow, young man ? " the
Peanut fumbled a moment for words. " Why,
nothing doing — no excitement," he finally replied.
*' Ah, youth, youth I Happy, happy youth I " the
stranger exclaimed. *' You love excitement, eh ?
Well, you'll get some going down the Beaver Brook
Trail to-morrow. By George, I've a great mind to
give you some now I How far have you walked
** Nineteen miles," said Peanut, shifting uneasily
on his sore heel, and beginning to repent what he
had said. Somehow, as Art whispered to Frank,
the man looked as if he could " deliver the goods."
*' No, that's far enough," the stranger replied,
after a long pause, as if for reflection. " I won't
dare a man who's hiked nineteen miles — or a boy
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 73
" Oh, if it's a dare '' Peanut began.
" No, sir, won't do it ; you can't bluff me into it I "
the man laughed. " But if you think there's no ex-
citement on Moosilauke, you stay here a few days,
and let me take you botanizing a bit, say into
" What's that name again, sir?" asked Rob.
" Jobildunk," the man answered. ** It is a big
ravine discovered by three men, named Joe, Bill and
Duncan. So they made a portmanteau word, and
named it Jo-bil-dunc after all three. The * k ' got put
on later, I suppose. Come on out of this hot room,
you chaps, and see my playground."
'* I Hke him," whispered Rob as they followed him
through the door.
He was a small man, but they soon found he was
tremendously active. In front of the hotel was a
road. The summit of Moosilauke is about a mile
long, nearly level, but highest on the north end,
where the hotel is. This road ran all the way along
the summit, to the southern end, where it vanished
around the little south peak. It was a crushed stone
road, all right, for there was nothing but stones to
make it of. It was just a white ribbon, winding
amid the gray boulders and mountain cranberry
plants. The man led the way rapidly down it, and
the tired boys had all they could do to keep up.
Half a mile from the Summit House he stopped,
74 BOY SCOUTS
leaped on a boulder beside the road, and pointed
"Here's my favorite view," he said. "The little
gray Summit House away up there at the end of the
white road, against the sky, the white road running
the other way down toward the valley world, and all
off there to the west, just space and sunset ! "
It was pretty fine. The sun was now descending
into the western cloud bank, and turning the clouds
to rose and gold. It looked hundreds of miles
" Do those clouds mean rain ? " asked Art.
" Nary a drop," said the man. " Hello I — here's
an Argyjinis atlantis / "
He made a mad dive with his hat, put it quickly
over a low plant, and drew from under a beautiful
butterfly, all gold and silver, with a black border
around the wings.
" The small mountain fritillary," he saido " Often
comes up here, but shouldn't be here with the wind
so strong. What I'm looking for really is an Oeneis
semideay an arctic butterfly which they say is found
only on Mount Washington. He's gray, like the
rocks. Looks like a two inch piece of lichen.
Haven't found one yet, though. You watch this
fritillary follow the road down the mountain, now."
He let the butterfly go, and sure enough, it started
down the road, flying not more than three feet above
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 75
the ground, and as long as the boys could watch it,
it was keeping to every turn and twist.
"He knows the way down!" laughed the man.
" And he knows he has no business up here when
it's so cold, with night coming on. He'll get down,
though, at that rate.
"And now, boys," continued this odd man, "you
be as wise as the butterfly I Back to the hotel,
shoulder packs, and to your camp!"
He led the way again up the road. He walked
so fast that the five boys and Mr. Rogers were all
panting. But he himself was not out of breath in
the least. He laughed at Peanut.
"Anyhow, I get my wind good in a month up
here," he said, "even if it is *slow' and Vm old
enough to be your grandfather ! "
" You've not walked nineteen miles to-day," said
" No, but I've walked sixteen," the man replied.
" I've been down nearly to North Woodstock and
back, by the Beaver Brook Trail. You'll know what
I mean when you see that trail."
Peanut was silent.
At the Summit House the boys bought some post-
cards showing the view from the top, Frank took a
picture of the sunset, to label "Moonlight from
Moosilauke," and they all picked up their packs and
followed their new leader. He took them back over
76 BOY SCOUTS
the path they had come up for a few hundred feet,
and suddenly plunged sharp to the east. They be-
gan at once to go down. Soon the path skirted the
edge of a great gorge, which was like a gigantic
piece of pie cut out of the mountainside, with the
point toward them. The sides were almost precipi-
tous, and covered with dense spruce.
** That's Jobildunk Ravine. Want to go down
it with me, my young friend?" the man asked Pea-
" Thanks — not till after supper," Peanut grinned.
As they were on the east side of the summit, it
quickly grew dark. The man led the way uner-
ringly, however, along a level stretch of path beside
the ravine, and presently plunged into the woods.
They were now below timber line. In a few mo-
ments he halted.
** Got a lantern ? " he said.
Lou lighted the camp lantern, and the man showed
them a spring, close to the path. '* Plenty of dead
wood on the trees — lower branches of those spruce,"
he added. *' Good-night, all ! "
" Oh, stay and have supper with us ! " cried all the
" Well, since you urge, I will," said he. '' Don't
make me cook, though. I'm a bad cook."
"You sit down, and be company," Peanut
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 77
The boys rather showed off in getting supper
ready. Art made the fire pit and the fire, Peanut
and Frank gathered wood, Rob brought water and
fixed up the props and cross-bar to swing the ketde
from, and then cleared out a space for sleeping, cut-
ting spruce boughs for the bed. Lou, meanwhile,
got out enough food for the meal, and began to mix
the flapjack dough. Mr. Rogers, like the stranger,
was not allowed to do any work.
" Well, you've got five of the Gold Dust twins
here, for sure I " the man laughed.
*' They're Boy Scouts, and used to making camp,"
Mr. Rogers answered.
" They surely are used to it," the man said. ** I
tell you, it's a great movement that trains boys for
the open like that I "
The Scouts, hearing this, redoubled their efforts,
and bacon was sizzling, coffee boiling, flapjacks
turning, in a very few moments more.
Supper was a merry meal. The fire was re-
stocked with fresh wood after the cooking had been
done, and blazed up, throwing reflections into the
trees overhead and quite paling the light of Lou's
lantern, which swung from a branch. Their new
friend joked and laughed, and enjoyed every mouth-
ful. When supper was over, he pulled several cakes
of sweet chocolate out of his pocket, and divided
them for dessert. " Always carry it," he said.
78 BOY SCOUTS
" Raisins and sweet chocolate — that makes a meal
for me any time. Don't have to cook it, either."
He sat with his back against a tree after the meal,
and told stories of the mountain. '' I used to tramp
over all these hills every vacation," he said, *'and
many a good time Fve had, and many a hard time,
too, on Washington, especially. I was caught in a
snow-storm one June on the Crawford Bridle Path
and nearly froze before I got to the Mt. Pleasant
Path down. The wind was blowing a hundred
miles an hour, at least, and went right through me.
I couldn't see twenty feet ahead, either. Luckily, I
had a compass, and by keeping the top of the ridge,
I found the path without having to take a chance on
descending through the woods. But nowadays, Fm
getting old, and this fellow Moosilauke is more to
my liking. A big, roomy, comfortable mountain,
Moosilauke, with a bed waiting for you at the top,
and plenty to see. Why, he's just like a brother to
me I I keep a picture of him in my room in New
York to look at winters, just as you " (he turned to
Rob) " keep a picture of your best girl on your
Rob turned red, while the rest laughed at him.
To turn the subject, Rob said hastily :
" Why is the mountain called Moosilauke ? "
** It used to be spelled Moose-hillock on all the
maps when I was a boy," the man replied. " Peo-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 79
pie thought it meant just that — a hill where the In-
dians used to shoot moose. But finally somebody
with some sense came along and reasoned that the
Indians would hardly name a mountain with Eng-
lish words, when they had known it for generations
before they ever heard any English. He began to
investigate, and discovered, Fm told, that the
Pemigewasset Indians — the tribe which lived in the
valley just to the south — really called it Moosilauke,
which means, as far as I can make out, * The great
bald (or bare) mountain,' because the top has no
trees on it. The Indians never climbed it. They
never climbed mountains at all, because they be-
lieved that the Great Spirit dwelt on the tops. I
fancy they held Moosilauke in particular veneration
— and right they were ; it^s the finest old hill of 'em
all ! "
" You like the mountains, don't you, sir ? " said
"You bet," the other answered. " They are about
the biggest and solidest things we have, and the
only folks who get to the top of 'em are folks with
good legs, like you boys. I like people with good
legs, but I don't like lazy people. So on the moun-
tains I'm sure of good company. It's the only place
I am sure of it — except, of course, in my own room,
with the door locked ! "
Peanut led the laugh at this.
8o BOY SCOUTS
Before their new friend rose to go, he told them
something of the trail down the mountain. " It's an
Appalachian Club trail," he said, *' but it's not so
well kept up as those on the Presidentials, and it's
almighty steep in places. You'll find it good fun.
When you get to the bottom, turn to the left and
have a look at Beaver Meadow. It's an acre or
more across, and was really cleared by beavers.
You can still see the ruins of their old dam. Then
go through Lost River, and you've seen the best of
that region. Good-night, boys, and good hiking 1 "
'* Will you be all right in the dark, around the
head of the ravine? " asked Mr. Rogers.
" The soles of my feet are as good a guide as my
eyes on this path," the man laughed.
But Peanut jumped up, took the lantern, and in-
sisted on escorting him along the path till it had
passed the head of the ravine. Fifteen or twenty
minutes later, when Peanut reappeared, he found the
rest ready for bed. Rob gave Peanut's sore heel a
fresh dressing, and then everybody turned in, lying
close together for warmth. As they were dozing
off. Peanut suddenly exclaimed, " Hang it ! " in a
" What's the matter with you ? " asked Art crossly.
"Go to sleep!"
** I forgot to carve on my stick how far we've
walked to-day," said Peanut.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 8i
** Well, you can do it to-morrow, can't you ? Shut
up now ! "
** Oh, very well," said Peanut, relapsing into
silence, and then into sleej?— the sleep of the utterly
Lost River and the Ladies
ONCE again the camp was astir at sunrise,
shortly after four. Everybody was cold, and,
truth to tell, a little cross.
'* We're not hardened to this high air yet, I guess,"
said Art, as he built up the fire. But breakfast re-
stored their good nature, and they all went back up
the path to have a look at Jobildunk Ravine by day-
light, while Mr. Rogers was shaving.
" Got to shave, boys," he said, " because we strike
a town — North Woodstock — this afternoon."
It was after six before the descent of the mountain
began. At first the way led through thick woods,
and, while it was steep, seemed no steeper than
Kinsman. They came upon the embers of two or
three camp-fires beside springs, and presently upon
a small lean-to, built of bark and hemlock boughs,
which would hold two people.
*' Somebody got tired half-way up," laughed Art.
** Gee, they could have got to the top while they
were building this."
"Maybe they liked to build," Lou suggested,
which seemed unanswerable.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 83
The path below this point swung over to the side
of a rushing brook, and they began to enter a region
where the lumbermen had been, stripping the forest
down to bare soil and leaving behind dry, ugly
slash. The path grew steeper every moment. The
brook went down the mountain in a series of cas-
cades, one after the other, and at almost every wa-
terfall the path beside it dropped almost as steeply.
In some places there were rough ladders to descend
by. At other places you simply had to swing over a
root and drop, often landing in soft, wet leaf-mould,
and sinking up to the ankles.
*• Steep? Well, I should smile!" said Peanut.
** Say, fellers, don't you wish we were going up in-
stead of down ? "
" Can't say I do," Frank answered. " I don't see
how anybody does get up here, 'specially with a
heavy pack. Wasn't this path ever better than this ? "
** It must have been once. The water has washed
it," the Scout Master replied.
Just then they came to a six foot drop, and Frank
took it first. He unslung his camera at the bottom,
and snapped the rest as they came tumbling after him.
"That'll prove we had some steep work, all right,"
" I believe if my pants were stronger, I'd just sit
down and slide the rest of the way," Peanut laughed.
But such steep descents have one great advantage
84 BOY SCOUTS
— they get you down quickly. Almost before the boys
realized that they were at the bottom, they found
themselves walking along a level wood road, and it
seemed suddenly very still.
"It's the brook — we don't hear the water falling
any more," said Art.
They came out quickly upon the highway — or so
much of a highway as ran through this tiny notch. It
was hardly more than a wood road. They turned
to the left, as their friend on Moosilauke had advised,
and in a moment came into a grassy clearing, with
the ruins of an old logging camp at one side. This
was Beaver Meadow. To the left, the steep wall of
Moosilauke leapt up, and they could see the course
of Beaver Brook, beside which they had descended,
the white of its waterfalls flashing here and there in
the sun. To the right was Wildcat Mountain, really
afoot-hill of Kinsman. The meadow itself was very
green, and the road went through the middle of it.
At the western end, it narrowed to perhaps a hundred
feet in width, and here a little brook flowed out, be-
side the road, and on either side they saw the re-
mains of a dam, perhaps three or four feet high,
quite grown over with grass and bushes.
"The beaver dam!" cried Art, "They just cut
down the trees on each side, and let them fall over
the brook, and then plastered 'em up with mud, eh?
My, but thev are smart I "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 85
** Did they clear all tiie trees out of this meadow,
ioo?" asked Frank.
" They didn't have to do that," the Scout Master
replied. '* Once they had the brook dammed back
the water killed the trees — killed *em so thoroughly
that this meadow has remained open long after the
beavers have vanished, and their dam has been
broken open by the road."
''But why do they go to all that trouble ? " said
" How^ many ponds have you seen in these
parts?" said Art, scornfully. *'They wouldn't make
a dam if they could find a natural pond shallow
enough so their houses could come up above water,
like a muskrat's, would they, Mr. Rogers? But I
suppose they couldn't find one around here, so they
just made it themselves. I think they're about the
smartest animal there is."
'' You mean was," said Peanut. ** I never saw
one. Did you?"
" No," said Art, sadly. " I'd like to, though.
Gee, it's a shame the way women have to wear furs,
and kill off all the animals ! Sometimes I wish there
werenU any girls."
** Well, they're not troubling us much this week,"
Mr. Rogers laughed. " Now for Lost River ! "
The party /-.umed east, and proceeded down the
road for about half a mile, by an easy grade, till they
86 BOY SCOUTS
came quite unexpectedly upon a souvenir post-card
and " tonic " store, built of birch logs, beside the
path. Here they stopped, and after buying a bottle
of ginger ale apiece, a young French-Canadian
lumberman, who ran the store and acted as guide
during the summer season, agreed to pilot them
through Lost River. He advised them to put on
overalls before starting, but they scorned the sugges-
tion. While they were debating the point with him,
there was a sudden sound of voices outside, and in
the doorway of the little log store appeared a party
of women and girls — and one lone man.
" Poor Art I " said Peanut, giving him a poke in
This party wanted to go through Lost River, too.
** We can't keep the guide all to ourselves and
make him lose this other job," said Mr. Rogers.
" Besides, we're Scouts, and we ought to do a good
turn and help those women folks through."
" Aw, no ! Let's cut out the guide, then, and go
through alone ! " said Art.
*'No," Mr. Rogers said, "I don't remember the
way. I was never through but once, years ago ; be-
sides, we'd miss half the sights.''
"Say," whispered Peanut, ** will those ^/r/j put on
overalls ? "
" I guess they'll have to," said Mr. Rogers.
" Me for that I " cried Peanut, with a whoop.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 87
"Go on, Art, by yourself, if you want. I'm going to
be a gay little Sir Launcelot to a dame in overalls 1 "
All the boys laughed, except Art, who was still
** Cheer up, Art," whispered Rob. " It sounds like
fun to me. Look at that nice girl in the door ; she's
looking at you."
Art turned instinctively, and his eyes met those of
a very pretty girl in pink, who was in the doorway.
He blushed. So did the girl. Peanut winked at
Rob, who winked back.
" He'll come," they each whispered to the other.
Mr. Rogers was talking to the guide, and to the
lone man who had accompanied this party. The
man took him over to the women (there were two
women and five girls), and the boys saw their Scout
Master bow, and talk with them. A moment later
he came across the room.
" That poor man has brought his wife and two
daughters and three of their friends and another
woman up from North Woodstock, boys," he said.
" I can see they are all greenhorns at this sort of
work. It's really up to us to help 'em. They are
going to get into overalls now."
The women and girls went up-stairs to the second
story of the log house, and the boys could hear them
tittering and giggling, and emitting little cries of
" Ah ! " and " Oh, my gracious ! " and " I can never
88 BOY SCOUTS
go down in these ! " The man came over to talk to
the Scouts. He was in old clothes, he said, which
he didn't mind getting dirty. He was a timid look-
ing man, and seemed grateful that the Scouts were
going to help him out.
A few minutes later, a pair of feet — very small feet
— appeared, very slowly, on the stairs, and the first
girl — the one in pink — came down. Her cheeks
were as pink as her dress — or what could be seen of
her dress. She had on a pair of long overalls,
turned up at the bottom, with her skirts wobbed up
somehow inside of them, and the apron buckled up
to her neck. She looked very much like a fat boy
in his father's trousers. Peanut laughed — he couldn't
" I think you are horrid ! " she said, darting an
angry look at him.
** He — he didn't mean anything," Art stammered.
" You look all right for — for such rough work."
" Thank you," said the girl, and she came over
and stood between her father and Art.
Peanut again winked at Rob.
All the rest of the feet now began to come down
the stairs, and soon five fat boys in their daddies'
trousers, and two women looking like Tweedledum
and Tweedledee (it was Peanut who suggested that I)
stood in the room, blushing and laughing.
*' Now come on, we can't think of our clothes any
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 89
more. Let's get to Lost River/' exclaimed the girl
She seemed to pick Art as her natural escort, and
the pair of them led the way through the door, be-
side the guide.
" I don't see any river, though," said Peanut, to
the giri he was with, as they went through the woods
behind the cabin.
" Of course you don't ; it's a lost river," she said.
" Oh ! " said Peanut. *' I forgot that. Well,
here's where it was lost, I guess."
The guide just ahead of them had suddenly dis-
appeared into a hole in the ground, helping Art and
the pink girl down after him.
" My goodness ! " exclaimed the girl at Peanut's
side. She was a small girl, with very black eyes,
which twinkled. The other girls had called her
*' Oh, it's nothing," Peanut reassured her. " We^ve
been falling down places since six o'clock."
** I wasn't thinking of myself," Alice answered,
'* but of poor Mamma. Mamma isn't so slender as
— 2l% you are."
" Mr. Rogers will look after Mamma," said Peanut.
" Come on I "
He dropped ahead of her into the hole, and clasp-
ing his hands in front of him, made a stirrup for her
to put her foot in, like a step, as she followed.
90 BOY SCOUTS
They found themselves on a rocky ledge, with
another drop ahead of them. At the bottom of this
drop stood the guide, Art, and the pink girl, in day-
light. The place was really the bottom of a little
canon, concealed in the woods, and a small river
(not much more than a brook) flowed along it. On
their right, to the east, however, the river vanished
completely out of sight, into a great piled up mass
of boulders. The leaders waited till all the party
had arrived at the bottom, and then the guide led
the way directly in among these boulders, the girls
and women screaming and laughing as they fol-
It became damp and cold and dark immediately.
They entered a sort of cave, made by two rocks
meeting overhead, and dropped down several feet to
what felt like a sandy beach, though they could, at
first, see nothing. But they could hear the water
running beside them.
" Look out here,'' said the guide, " or you'll step
into the water. Follow me."
Alice, however, didn't follow him. She was a
frisky girl, and she wanted to see all there was to
see, so she stepped to the left, and suddenly
Peanut grabbed her hand and pulled her back.
" Sh," she whispered. " Up to the knees I But
Mamma' d make me go back if she knew I "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 91
"What's the matter, Alice?" called her mother.
'• She stubbed her toe," Peanut answered, quickly.
" Oh, you nice little liar ! " chuckled Alice.
Peanut was beginning to like her !
The strange, underground path grew stranger and
stranger. Sometimes they came out into daylight,
and saw the sky and the walls of the caiion far above
them, sometimes they stood in caves fifteen feet
high, sometimes they had to cross the stream on
planks, sometimes go up or down ladders. Finally
they came to a place where the way was completely
blocked, save for a small hole, which didn't look
more than two feet across.
Somebody had painted above it, *'Fat Man's
*• Don't worry me a bit," said Peanut.
" Quick, let's get through, and watch Mamma
come out," cried Alice.
Art and the pink girl had disappeared into the
hole already, Art going first. Alice lay down on
her stomach and began to wriggle through after
them. Peanut following. The guide remained be-
hind to help the rest. The passage was on an in-
cline, leading upward, and it seemed very long. It
was certainly very dark. But they emerged pres-
ently (the tunnel coming out four feet above the
ground, so one had to do quite an acrobatic stunt to
gain his feet, if he was coming head foremost), and
92 BOY SCOUTS
found Art and the pink girl waiting for them at the
mouth of a cave.
Behind them they could hear the screams and
laughter of the rest, and Mamma's voice exclaiming,
" I never can get through there, I tell you ! "
Alice put her face to the hole and shouted back,
" Come on, Mamma, we'll pull you through if you
stick I *'
Then she looked at her feet. " Gee, Grace," she
called to the pink girl, " I'm soaked up to my knees ! "
'* I was soaked up to my neck two days ago,"
Peanut laughed. ** You'll dry. Anyhow, we can
build a fire when we get out, and you can take off
your wet things, and sit with your little pink tootsies
to the blaze."
Alice, with a laugh, gave him a slap on the cheek.
** Why, Alice ! " exclaimed the pmk girl, shocked.
** Oh, he's a fresh one, he needs it," said Alice,
and turned with a shriek of delight to see the first
face of the following party emerge through the hole.
It was *' Mamma " ! Her face was flushed with
exertion, and wore a look of agonized fright. Her
hair was disarranged, and hanging into her eyes.
From behind her issued voices, ** Hurry up, Ma,
you're blocking the passage ! '^
" Come here, you laughing monkey, and help
your mother down ! " she cried to Alice. " How do
you suppose I can get out of this hole head first ? "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 93
But Alice was too doubled up with mirth to move.
Art and Peanut sprang to her relief. They took her
by the shoulders, one on each side, and pulled her
out, supporting her till she could get her feet down
on the ground. Then they hid on either side of the
tunnel mouth, and as fast as a head appeared, they
grabbed the shoulders behind it, without a word of
warning, and pulled the surprised person forth. The
only one who fooled them was the guide. He came
feet foremost !
There was nearly a mile of this curious, under-
ground path, amid caves and tumbled boulders, now
close beside the sunken river, now above it. Some
of the caves were very cold. But suddenly they
saw full daylight ahead, and they stepped out of the
last cave upon a ledge of rock, over which the river
dashed in a pretty waterfall, and went flowing away
down the hill through the woods, on a perfectly sane
and normal above-ground bed.
" Well, that is quite an experience ! " said Papa,
wiping his forehead.
Mamma looked at her soiled overalls, tried to fix
up her hair, and then fanned herself with the palm
of her hand.
** Well, I guess the young folks enjoyed it more
than I did ! " she panted. Then she spied Alice's
feet. " Alice ! " she cried. '* Your feet ! "
" What's the matter with my feet ? " said Alice.
94 BOY SCOUTS
" You'll get your death of cold ! "
" Nonsense, my dear," said Papa.
** Nonsense or not, she's got to dry them," the
mother said. "We must go right back to that
'* I have a better idea, if you'll excuse me, Mrs.
Green," said Rob (he and the oldest of the girls had
evidently been exchanging names). " We'll build a
fire here by the river, and all have lunch together.
While she's drying her stockings, we Scouts will
take back the overalls, and bring down all your
grub and our packs, and then we can all walk back
to North Woodstock together after lunch."
" A very good idea, too," exclaimed Papa Green.
**Well, I'm willing," said the mother. '* I don't
much want to take that walk back, that's a fact."
" Fire, boys ! " cried Peanut, starting to scramble
down beside the falls.
** Hold on ! " Frank cried. " Nobody stirs from
this spot till I get a picture."
** Oh," squealed the girls. " You shan't take our
picture in these I "
"Yes, I shall ! Peanut, you guard the path I "
" Right-o," said Peanut. " No lady shall pass save
over my dead body I "
Frank unslung his camera from the case, and
made everybody get in a group, with the girls in
front. They all tried to sit down, to hide the over-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 95
alls, but Rob and Lou and Art kept pulling them up.
Every time they were up, Frank snapped a picture.
" Now Fve got you all I " he laughed.
** What ? You were taking us all the time ? Oh,
you mean thing ! " cried Alice. *' Let's break the
camera, girls ! "
She started for Frank, but he disappeared over
the ledge, with a hoot.
The Scouts had left their hatchets behind, but they
made a fire pit, and kindled a good fire with dead
stuff, broken by hand. Peanut rigged up a stick
rack beside it for Alice to hang her stockings over.
Meanwhile, off in the bushes, they could hear the
girls and women laughing, as they got out of the
overalls. They came back looking like normal girls
again, only their skirts were rather crumpled.
The Scouts took the overalls, and, with the guide
and Mr. Rogers, turned toward the road, which led
back to the store. Peanut lingered a bit in the rear.
"Toast your tootsies nice and warm," he whis-
pered to Alice, and ducked quickly away from the
swing she aimed at him.
" Alice ! " he heard Art's girl saying, ** I wish you
wouldn't be such a tomboy."
Peanut grinned to himself, and caught up with the
"Some skirts, those, eh, Art?" he said, giving
Art a dig in the ribs.
96 BOY SCOUTS
Art turned red, and punched back for answer.
"What was it Art was saying back in Beaver
Meadow about wishing there weren^t any girls in the
world?" asked Rob.
" Oh, they're all right, if they wear pink*' said
" You all make me sick," Art retorted. " Gee,
Peanut, you got your face slapped, all right ! "
**Sure I did," said Peanut. "That's a mark of
affection. I made a hit with her, you see."
" That's a rotten joke," said Art.
" All right. Here's another. You go off and eat
your lunch by yourself, if you don't like girls. The
rest of us'll have ours with the crowd. We'll let
him, won't we, fellers ? "
Art only grunted, and made no answer to the
laughter of the rest.
" All of which goes to show, Art," remarked Mr.
Rogers, who had been listening, " that it's not safe
to generalize about women. A man's always bound
to meet one who'll upset all his ideas."
" Or slap his face," said Art, with a poke at
At the little store, the boys paid the guide for
their share in the expedition, and shouldered both
their own loads and the lunch baskets the other
party had brought with them, and left in the store.
Then they hurried back down the road.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 97
Peanut ran on ahead before they got to the camp
site, and slipping as quietly as he could through the
trees and bushes, came suddenly out into the open
space where the fire was. The girls were all sitting
in the shade, except Alice. She was wading bare-
foot in the brook, while her stockings and shoes
hung by the fire.
Peanut stood there grinning a second before
anybody saw him, and then Alice spied him and
" Oh, you little beast ! " she said, jumping out of
the water, and grabbing up a tin folding cup, which
her father had evidently carried in his pocket. She
filled this with water, and ran at Peanut, barefoot, ap-
pearing not to mind the rough ground at all. Pea-
nut was so loaded down with his blanket and pack
and two lunch baskets that he was in no condition to
escape. He tried to run, but his blanket roll caught
in a bush, and before he could yank it free he feit the
whole cupful of water hit his face, and go running
down his neck.
*' Alice ! " called Mrs. Green. " Alice I Come
right back here ! Aren't you ashamed ! "
** Not a bit," said Alice. " He's perfectly horrid,
coming sneaking up that way on purpose ! "
" Go put on your shoes and stockings and then
apologize 1 " said her mother, sternly.
** Ho, that's all right," said Peanut. ** I was aw-
98 BOY SCOUTS
ful hot. The water feels good. I'd like some
** You would, would you ? " said Alice, making as
if she were going to the stream again.
" Only give me time to get my mouth open and
catch it," Peanut laughed.
'* Alice ! " said her mother, again, " I told you to
put your shoes and stockings on."
" They're not dry yet," said the girl, feeling of
*' Oh, dear, what can you do ? The rest will be
here in a moment I " exclaimed her sister, the girl in
" I have it ! " Peanut said. He slung off his pack,
and produced his pair of extra socks. They were
heavy and long, being made to wear with high boots.
Alice snatched them from him with a laugh, and,
turning her back, sat down to put them on. Then
she got up and turned around. Everybody laughed.
The toes were too long, and flapped a bit when she
walked. Her feet looked huge, for a girl.
" I hope I wear a big hole in 'em," she was say-
ing, as the rest of the Scouts came up.
But she wasn't half so mad at Peanut as she had
pretended, evidently, for while Art and Lou were
t:iking all the responsibility of cooking the lunch and
making the coffee, the two of them walked of! to-
gether up the stream to the falls, Alice giving little
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 99
** Ouches ! " every minute or two as her shoeless feet
stepped on a root or a hard pebble, and they had to
be called back by the rest when lunch was ready.
It was certainly a merry meal. The girls made
birch bark plates, and they had paper napkins in
their baskets, and plenty of doughnuts to go with
the coffee. Art used the last of the flour and con-
densed milk for flapjacks, cooking busily while the
rest ate, and looking very happy when the girl in
pink said, *' It's too bad. You aren't getting any-
thing at all."
" He don't mind," said Peanut. " He'd rather
cook than eat anything, especially for girls."
** Does he like girls ? " asked Alice, who was
seated on the ground, with her feet sticking out, so
she could wiggle the dangling toes of Peanut's socks,
which made everybody laugh.
" Does he like girls ! You should have heard
what he said about 'em this morning ! " Peanut
" Shut up — or when I get you to-night " Art
half whispered this at Peanut.
" Oh, tell me, tell me ! " cried Alice.
" I'll whisper it," said Peanut.
He whispered in her ear, and she burst out laugh-
ing. Her sister, in pink, was trying hard to hear,
but she couldn't.
" No, rU never tell Grace,^^ said Alice, wriggling
loo BOY SCOUTS
her toes with delight. ** Oh, it's a lovely story,
Grace ! "
Grace moved away to the other side of the circle,
with a pout, and she and Art sat together and fin-
ished their lunch.
After lunch the girls insisted on clearing the dishes.
" It is a woman's place to do the dishes ! " they said,
and when the dishes were done everybody sat down
under the trees, and the Scouts, at Lou's suggestion,
got out their knives, and carved their staffs.
First, they cut their initials, and then in Roman
numerals, the mileage for the day before. '* Let's
see — nineteen miles to the top of Moosilauke, one
mile down the road and back, a mile maybe to camp
— twenty-one miles," said Peanut, " that's two XX's
and a L"
When he had finished, Alice took the staff out of
** You've forgotten something," she said.
'' What ? " asked Peanut.
" My initials, silly," she answered. '* If you don't
put them on, how will you remember me ? "
** By a sore face and a wet shirt," Peanut replied.
" Now, don't be a goose. Put my initials on,"
the girl laughed-—" A. G."
" It's not N. G. anyhow," said Peanut. He care-
fully cut her initials beside his own, at the top of the
staff, and of course Alice showed it to her sister and
IN THE WHITE MOUiNTAINS loi
the other girls, and the rest of the Scouts had to do
the same thing By the time it was done, Mr.
Green was fast asleep, Mrs. Green was nodding, and
Mr. Rogers was looking at his watch.
** I'm afraid it's time this little midsummer day's
dream was ended," he smiled. " We've got some
way to go yet."
" Wake up Papa, then," said Alice. " Here are
your old socks. Oh, dear, there's no hole in 'em,
either. 1 tried^ though."
She pulled off the socks, tossed them to Peanut,
and went gingerly on her bare feet to the fire, where
her own shoes and stockings had quite driedo In a
moment, they were on. She did everything quickly.
She grabbed a blade of grass, then, and tickled her
father's nose. He put up his hand and brushed his
face, still sleeping. It was the laughter and his
wife's voice crying, " Alice ! Behave yourself 1 "
which really woke him up.
The five miles to North Woodstock were quickly
made — rather too quickly, perhaps, to please the
Scouts. They were having a good time. They
stopped for a few minutes only to look at Agassiz
Basin, where Lost River makes some lovely bathing
pools on the rocky ledges. The Greens, of course,
invited them into their hotel for supper, but Mr.
Rogers shook his head.
" No," said he, " we've got to get along up the
I02 BOY SCOUTS
Notch yet, and be ready for the climb over Liberty
and Lafayette to-morrow. I'm afraid weVe got to
be on our way/'
The girls gathered around Frank. One of them
wrote an address on a card, and gave it to him.
*'Now, promise," they said, ''you've got to send us
all one of those horrid pictures."
" If they're so horrid, I shouldn't think you'd want
'em," said Frank.
** Well, you send 'em just the same," they an-
Everybody shook hands all around, and Alice, as
she released Peanut's hand, managed to slap his face
lightly, and ran laughing up the steps. The Scouts
tramped away into the village, while the girls waved
their handkerchiefs from the porch.
** Yes, Art," Peanut said, ** girls are a pesky nui-
sance. They look so ugly in pink dresses."
" Oh, shut up on that ! " Art cried. " You've got
a ducking coming to you in the next brook Any-
how, mine wasn't a face-slapping tomboy ! "
" No, she was just too sweet," laughed Peanut, as
he dodged Art's swing at his head.
At the village they stocked up on provisions —
bacon, condensed milk, tea and cofiee, flour and
sweet chocolate — for their provisions were well used
up, and soon they were plodding up the road, north-
ward, and entering the Franconia Notch.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 103
The road was quite unlike that down which they
had tramped two days before, on the west side of
Kinsman. It was macadamized and full of motors.
** This is one of the through highways from the
south to the northern side of the mountains," said
the Scout Master. ** I fear we've hit it at about the
worst time of day, too, because we're only twelve
miles from the Profile House, which is the end of the
day's run for many cars. Most of 'em seem to be
going in that direction."
'' I should think they were," said Rob. ** My
blanket is covered with dust already."
" Gosh, my lun^s are covered with dust," said
Peanut. ** How far have we got to go, dodging
these things ? "
" Only six miles," the Scout Master answered.
** I guess we can stand it that long."
It was getting on toward dark in the Notch (where
the sun seems to set much earlier than outside, be-
cause of the high western wall) when they reached
the Flume House.
** It's too dark to go up into the Flume to camp
to-night," Mr. Rogers declared. '' Besides, I don't
know just where the path up Liberty starts, and
we'd better wait for daylight to ask. We'll go up
the road a few rods, and camp by some brook close
to the road. Then in the morning we can see the
Flume and the Basin and all the sights."
I04 BOY SCOUTS
The motors had ceased going by now, and the
road was empty. They very soon came to a good
brook, and a few paces off the road put them into
the seclusion of the woods. Here they camped, and
had their supper. The day had been a compara-
tively light one — -four miles down Moosilauke, six
through Lost River and to North Woodstock, and
six to camp — sixteen in all, mostly down-hill.
'* And don't forget the two miles at lunch to the
store and back for our packs," said Frank.
" An even eighteen, then," said Rob. '' Gee,
that's not very good."
** Women — they're to blame for everything, ain't
they, Art?" said Peanut.
Art got up and made for his tormentor, but
Peanut was too quick for him. He was away into
the rough, dark woods, and Art gave up the chase.
It wasn't long after, however, in spite of the fact that
they had walked only eighteen miles, when the camp
A Strange Adventure in the Night
IT seemed to Peanut that he had hardly been
asleep at all, when he was awakened by the
sound of a motor. He listened, cross at being
roused, for the noise to die away up or down the
road, but it didn't. Instead of that, he plainly heard
the power shut off and the engine come to rest, close
to the camp — right in the road opposite the camp,
in fact. He sat up, rather startled. Then he heard
voices, men's voices. They were talking in low
tones, which struck him as strange, because out here
in the woods there was no reason why they should
be afraid of waking people up. He wondered for a
second if they could have designs on the camp, but
glancing at the camp-fire, he saw that it had gone
entirely out, so that nobody could have seen the
camp from the road. As he sat there in the dark,
straining his ears, Art woke up, as you often will
when you are sleeping close to somebody else who
" What is it ?" Art said.
" Sh ! " cautioned Peanut. He whispered softly
what had roused him.
io6 BOY SCOUTS
** Let's do some scouting," said Art.
They put on their shoes quietly, without waking
any of the others. Art tried to see his watch, but
couldn't. " Never mind," he whispered, and the
two boys crawled softly out of camp. It was easy
to get across the brook, because the brook itself
made so much babbling over its stones that the
sound of footsteps could not be heard. Once across,
they were close to the road, in some bushes about
three feet lower than the road level. They could see
little, in the starlight, but they could make out the
shadowy form of a motor, and two men sitting in it.
The head lights and the red tail light were all shut off !
" That's funny," Art whispered. " Gee, it's against
the law, too."
The boys listened. The men were talking in low
tones. Their voices were rough, and they swore
about every second word.
'' We'll start in fifteen minutes," one of them was
saying. " Those swells 'round the Profile House hit
the hay late. Won't do to get there too soon. It's
almost the last house down this way — lucky for us.
We can turn the car at the wide place in the road
where guys stop to see the Stone Face, and be all
ready for a quick getaway."
*' How do you know they ain't got a strong arm
guy guardin' the sparkle?" asked the other man.
" They ain't, I tell yer," said the first. " Ain't me
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 107
friend Jim got a stable job at the Profile just to tip
us off ? Ain't we got to split with him ? Guess
they didn't reckon there' d be any need to watch the
weddin' swag, way up here in these God forsaken
hills. Ha! They forgot that automobiles has
changed things I "
**They are going to rob somebody's house — at
the Profile," Art whispered, pulling Peanut back
toward the brook. " Gee, how can we stop 'em?"
" Let's rouse the camp, and pinch 'em right now,"
" And get shot full of holes in the dark, and they
get away in their car ? Not much 1 "
" They'd have to crank it, and we could chop up
the tires with our hatchets."
" Probably got a self starter, and what would they
do to us while we were chopping ? They'd have time
to get away from us and do the job before we could
hike six miles to the Profile and give the alarm. No,
sir, we've got to get there somehow as soon as they
do ! "
" We could sneak a ride on the trunk rack behind
the machine !" whispered Peanut.
" If it's got one — quick — hatchets I "
The two Scouts slipped back into camp. Art
grabbed up his hatchet, which he always kept
beside his pillow, and slipped it in his belt. Pea-
nut put on his. Then Art leaned down beside Rob,
io8 BOY SCOUTS
shook him gently, with one hand over his mouth,
and whispered in his ear.
*' Don't speak I " he said. " Peanut and I are go-
ing up the road to the Profile House. Follow us in
the morning. Cut out the climb. We'll explain
later. We've got to go."
" Why — what " said the astonished Rob.
" Sh ! Don't ask now. Robbers. We've got to
** Let me go, too," Rob whispered, trying to rise.
Art pushed him down. ** We've got to hook on
behind an auto. There'd not be room. You stay
here, and keep the camp quiet."
Rob lay back, a little too sleepy quite to realize
what he was letting the two younger Scouts in for,
and they slipped out of camp again. This time
they went down the brook, walking in the water so
they would make no sound of breaking bushes, and
came out into the road two rods below the motor.
Then they stole on tiptoe, hardly daring to breathe,
close up behind. As the rear lamp was not lighted,
they felt softly with their hands to see if there was
anything to ride on. Luckily, there was a trunk
rack — empty ! Straps across it made a rough kind
of seat, just large enough to hold them.
** We can't get on yet — not till they start," whis-
pered Art. " It would shake the springs."
The men were still talking, and the boys crouched
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 109
behind the car, in silence, waiting for them to start
It seemed to Peanut as if his heart beats must be
heard, they were so loud in his breast.
Suddenly they heard a rustle and crack in the
bushes almost beside them.
** What's that?" said one of the men, sharply.
*' Oh, a rabbit, or something," the other replied.
" There ain't a house anywhere 'round here. Don't
be a goat."
** It's Rob. He'll spoil everything," whispered
Art, dropping on his hands and knees, and literally
crawling out from behind the motor to the roadside
bushes where the noise came from.
The noise, of course, had ceased when the men
spoke. Peanut could no longer see Art, in the
shadow of the bushes, but his excited ear could hear
the faint sound of a whisper. He wondered why the
burglars didn't hear it, also, but they were talking
A minute later Art returned, and before he could
whisper, they heard one of the robbers strike a
match. Evidently he looked at the time, for he
said, '* One o'clock. Let her go."
There was the click of a self starter, and the engine
began to purr. A loud cough came from the ex-
haust at Peanut's feet, and made him jump. The
car began to throb. As it started, both boys swung
as lightly as they could up on the trunk rack, their
no BOY SCOUTS
legs dangling out behind, and the motor moved up
the road slowly. Having no lights on, the burglars
couldn't drive rapidly. Once they ran off the side
into some bushes, and had to reverse.
They swore, and evidently turned on the minor
head lights, for after that the car went faster and kept
the road. The dust sucked up into the boys' faces.
" I gotter sneeze," whispered Peanut.
** Quick, tie your handkerchief over your nose and
mouth," Art whispered back.
It was a ticklish job letting go both hands to tie
on the handkerchiefs, but they managed to do it
without falling off, and the sneezes were averted.
The sharp edge of the rack hurt their legs. The
dust almost choked them, even through their hand-
kerchiefs. But they clung fast, and for fifteen or
twenty minutes — it seemed hours — they rode in this
uncomfortable position rapidly through the dark. It
was very dark indeed, for most of the way was
through woods, and they could scarcely see the
Presently the machine stopped. Art yanked off
his handkerchief. " They are going to turn it here.
Quick, into the bushes when they back up ! "
The driver ran the car to the right, on what ap-
peared like a very wide place in the road, and then
reversed. As she slowly backed toward the edge,
the boys waited till their feet were almost in the
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS in
bushes, and then they dropped. While the car
moved forward again, they wriggled hastily on their
stomachs in among the dusty bushes, and lay there,
not daring even to whisper, while the driver again
reversed, and brought his car around facing back
down the road up which they had just come. The
two men were now close to the Scouts. They
stopped the engine, and got out. One of them got
out on the side toward the boys. Peanut could al-
most have stretched forth his hand and touched the
But he stepped away, unconscious, and took some-
thing out of the tonneau of the car.
" Got the sacks?" the other asked.
" O. K.," said the first.
The two men moved up the road on foot, leaving
the car behind, beside the road. Art held Peanut
down till they were so far away that their footsteps
were not audible. Then he sprang up.
** Quick!" he whispered, **take your hatchet and
cut the tires. Don't chop and make a noise — draw
the edge over."
" They'll explode," said Peanut.
"That's so. Wait — find the valves, and let the
air out ! "
The two boys worked rapidly, with matches.
They let the air out of each tire, and then cut the
rubber through, to make doubly sure.
112 . BOY SCOUTS
'* Wish I knew more about cars," Art said. " There
must be some way to put the engine on the blink."
Peanut lifted the hood. *' Hold a match — not too
close ! " he said. ** Here — here's a wire. That'll dis-
connect the battery, or something."
He yanked the wire out of its connection.
** Good," Art exclaimed. " Now, up the road
after 'em I "
The two boys stood directly under the Great Stone
Face, one of the sights of the White Mountains which
they had come three hundred miles to see — but they
never knew it, nor thought about it. They began to
run up the road, in the dark, as fast as they could go.
Before long, however, they pulled down to a walk.
" Those burglars will reconnoitre first, before they
try to break in," Art whispered. " Go easy, now.
They said it was almost the last house this way."
A moment later, the Scouts came out into an open
space. At the farther end, they could see the night
lamps in the windows of what looked like a hotel.
'* Must be the Profile House," said Peanut.
To the left they could see other houses, a row of
them, close together, and in the trees, directly at their
left, they could distinguish the outline of what seemed
to be the last house of all. They stole toward it, on
tiptoe, along a path in front. It was quiet. There
was not a sound in the world. The whole settle-
ment seemed asleep. But Art suddenly put his hand
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 113
on Peanut's shoulder, and they dropped down to-
gether on the ground. The two men were sneaking
from behind this house toward the next one. Art
had seen their figures, as they passed a dimly lighted
window of the second house. A second later, and
the boys heard a faint, curious sound.
** I know it ! " Peanut whispered. " It's a glass
cutter. Heard it at the painter's shop."
They waited breathlessly, and heard a window
catch sprung, and a window opened.
"They're cHmbing in !" said Art. ** Quick, now,
to rouse the house ! "
He sprang up. Peanut after him, and emitted a
Comanche yell, and then began shouting at the top
of his lungs, ** Robbers ! Robbers ! "
" Robbers ! Robbers ! " yelled Peanut.
The two of them sprang up the steps of the house and
began to pound the door with their fists, crying, '' Rob-
bers, robbers I " all the while, as loud as they could.
The response was startlingly sudden, and came
from all directions at once. The first thing was a
switching on of lights in the house itself, in the upper
rooms. Then the hall light came on. A second
later, the boys saw the two burglars come rushing
around the corner to the path, and make hot footed
by the nearest way, which was the path, for the road
and their auto. Art, so excited he hardly knew what
he was doing, jumped off the veranda and started
114 BOY SCOUTS
to follow, yelling " Stop I " But they kept on run-
ning. Across the clearing from the Profile House
came the sounds of running feet, as two watchmen
raced to the scene. In the other houses lights came
on, heads appeared in windows, the front door of
the house where the boys were pounding was thrown
open, and two men appeared there in pajamas and
dressing gowns. Behind them the boys had a gHmpse
of frightened women in nightgowns, and servants in
night clothes, also.
** What's the matter, what's the matter ? " the men
** Two burglars — got in your house — side window
— they've run down the road to their auto — we punc-
tured the tires " Peanut gasped out.
"We can catch 'em if we hurry," cried Art.
The watchmen were now on the scene.
"After 'em, then, boys ! " they shouted. " Show
us the way ! "
Two or three other men, half dressed, had now
appeared on the scene, the boys never knew from
where. They were too excited. Peanut and Art
dashed down the path, the rest following, and led
the way toward the stalled motor.
"They can't use the car," Peanut panted back
over his shoulder. " They'll have to beat it on foot ! '
The pursuing party was going rapidly, but Peanut
was running faster than the rest. He was now fifty
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 115
yards ahead. He suddenly heard the engine of the
" They've got that wire back ! " he thought. " But
they can't go far on flat tires."
He yelled back at the rest to hurry, and at the
sound of the yell, he heard the car start down the
road. It was gone when the rest came into the open
"We hacked the tires to ribbons," Art panted.
" They're on bare rims."
" Go back to the house, Tom, quick," said one of
the watchmen. ** Get the Flume House by 'phone,
and have 'em put a guard across the road there, to
stop every car and every person that comes down.
We'll get a car out, and follow 'em."
Everybody now ran up the road again, meeting
more half-dressed men on the way.
"Where on earth did you kids come from, any-
way ? " asked somebody for the first time.
" We were camping down near the road by the
Flume," said Art, '* and we heard 'em stop their car
— woke us up "
" And I heard 'em planning this job," said Pea-
nut, while Art got his breath.
" He crawled out and heard 'em," Art went on,
" and woke me, and we sneaked onto the trunk rack
behind, and rode up here to give the alarm."
" Say, you're some kids," the watchman com-
ii6 BOY SCOUTS
mented. " Cut their tires — that*s a good one 1
They were after the Goodwin wedding presents.
Told Mr. Goodwin he ought to have a detective."
** Here he is now," said somebody.
Another man had appeared. ** No, they didn't
have time to take a thing," he was saying, "so far
as we can see. Have you got 'em ? Who was' it
warned us ? "
The boys were pointed out to him. ** Thank you
both," he said. " I'll thank you more in the morn-
ing. You want a motor to chase 'em in ? Get mine
out, quick ! "
Three minutes later, four motors were brought
from the garages, and more than a dozen of the men
who were gathered in the road piled into them.
Peanut and Art rode in the first car, with two of the
watchmen. Art had his hatchet in his hand, and
the watchmen had their revolvers ready, too. They
went down the road at high speed, the search-lights
throwing the road and the bordering trees into bril-
liant white relief ahead, amid the surrounding gloom.
The occupants of t1ie car sat with their eyes glued on
the end of the white shaft of light.
" Some rims on that car ! " said the driver. He
slowed down. " See, there are the tracks. They
must have been traveling, too. How many of 'em
were there, did you say ? "
" Two," said Art.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 117
'* Light load. Maybe they got to the Flume
House before a rim broke."
He put on speed again, and they flashed into a
level stretch. Art and Peanut both exclaimed at
once, '* Look — there's Rob I "
Sure enough, standing beside the road, was Rob,
plainly to be seen in the glare of the powerful search
lamps. The driver put on brakes, and stopped.
Rob jumped into the car.
*' A car just went by — two minutes ago — no, less
— a minute. I couldn't sleep again, worrying about
you kids. It was those same men. Art. Heard 'em
The pursuing car once more leaped forward.
Looking back. Peanut saw the lamps of the motor
next behind them. The driver put on speed now
with a vengeance. It seemed hardly a second be-
fore ahead of them they heard a shout, and they
emerged from the woods into the clearing by the
Flume House, and their lamps struck full upon a
There, in front, was the car they were chasing.
Across the road was strung a heavy rope with a red
lantern swung from it, and close to the car, on either
side, stood two men, with gleaming revolvers pointed
at the two burglars on the seat. The revolver bar-
rels flashed in the glare of the search-light. Art and
Peanut and the rest in the pursuing car sprang
ii8 BOY SCOUTS
to the ground and ran forward. The two burglars
offered no resistance. What was the use ? They
were looking into four pistol barrels now I Ropes
were quickly brought, and their hands tied. The
other three pursuing cars came up, the excitement
roused a number of guests in the hotel, and Art and
Peanut found themselves in the midst of a throng as
the captives were being led to the concrete garage
to be locked up. Everybody wanted to know all
about it, and the boys had to repeat their story a
Finally Mr. Goodwin and a young man who
seemed to be his son, and who had been one of those
to open the door, got hold of them.
** You boys have saved us many thousands of dol-
lars," the father said. " We don't quite know how
to thank you. Of course, I know something about
Scouts, and I won't offer you money, because you
wouldn't take it."
" Oh, no, sir," said Art.
** Of course not. But I've got a motor you can
have to go where you please in to-morrow, or next
day, or any time, and I own a whole fish pond in
the woods back here, with a cabin on it where you
can camp, and my wife and daughter will want to
thank you. You must give me your names, so my
other daughter, who was married this morning, and
whose presents you saved, can write to you."
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS X19
Art and Peanut both stammered, rather uncomfort-
*' Why, that's all right, sir," Art finally said. " We
just did what seemed right — had to do something
quick. We're camped just up the road, with a party.
We're going over Liberty and Lafayette to-morrow,
and then on to Washington. We're much obliged,
but I guess there's nothing we could use. You see,
we're on a schedule."
** Take me back to your camp," said Mr. Goodwin,
with a smile toward his son.
" Gosh, I don't know whether we can ever find it
in the dark I " cried Peanut.
They got into Mr. Goodwin's car, with Rob.
" Let me ride in front," said Rob, " and go slow.
There will be wheel tracks where the car turned in to
pick me up just now."
"Well, that's an ideal" said Mr. Goodwin.
" You boys seem to be ready for anything."
** Be prepared — that's our motto," Peanut replied,
The car moved slowly back up the road, and Rob
and the driver kept their eyes open. Soon Rob
signaled to stop. The driver took a pocket electric
flash lamp from under the seat, and handed it to
Rob, who led the way through the bushes, and
across the brook. He flashed it up and down the
wall of bushes and trees, and suddenly, out of the
I20 BOY SCOUTS
darkness, came a sleepy grunt, and a startled, " Hi,
what's that ? Who's there ? "
** Wake up, Frank, and hear the birdies sing,"
Frank, Lou and Mr. Rogers sat up, rubbing their
eyes, as the others came into camp. Art lit the
camp lantern, and by its light the story of the night's
adventure was hastily told.
" Well, well 1 " exclaimed Mr. Rogers. ** I am a
bad Scout Master ! To think I slept right through
everything ! "
" I think you are a pretty good one, to develop
such Scouts as these," said Mr. Goodwin.
" Oh, rats I " exclaimed Frank, " to think I missed
it all I "
*' Me, too," said Lou.
*' They didn't let me in on much," Rob laughed.
** Why didn't you wake the rest of us ? " Lou de-
manded of Peanut.
** The more awake, the more noise," said Peanut.
** Rob almost gummed the game. Would have if
the burglars hadn't thought he was a rabbit."
" Well, boys," Mr. Goodwin put in, " you want to
be going back to sleep." He looked at his watch,
and added, " My, my ! it's three o'clock. The sun
will be up in less than two hours ! Now, I want
you all to come to my house to dinner to-morrow
night. We've got to celebrate, and talk this ad-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 121
venture over. You can get down Lafayette by
seven, can't you ? I'm sure you can. Seven o'clock,
*• But we haven't got any joy rags," Peanut pro-
Mr. Goodwin laughed. " You'll have appetites^ —
that's all I ask ! "
He spoke a few words quietly to the Scout Master
and then went back to his car. Peanut and Art
kicked off their shoes again, and lay down with the
rest, to sleep. But they were too excited to sleep.
They lay side by side and conversed in whispers of
the night's excitement, while the Scout Master and
Rob were also whispering. Once they heard Rob
say, " But it was the only way to save the property,
and if I'd waked you all up, what good would it
have done ? We couldn't get to the Profile on foot
till long after the trouble was over. I just had to
trust 'em. It seemed to me a job Scouts ought to
tackle, even if it was dangerous."
** I guess you're right," they heard Mr. Rogers
answer. " But I hope the next time we can all be
in on the adventure. I don't like to have my party
split up when there's danger."
** Good old Mr. Rogers ! " whispered Peanut.
" Guess we gave him a scare."
"There's one thing we forgot," said Art, suddenly.
"They said they had a pal — Jim, wasn't it? — em-
122 BOY SCOUTS
ployed in the Profile stables. We ought to tip off the
Profile House first thing in the morning/'
** Well, you can't remember everything, when
you're chasing burglars," said Peanut, as he rubbed
his dust-filled eyes.
Over the Lafayette Ridge, with a Dinner
Party at the End
THE two adventurers must have dropped off to
sleep toward daylight, for they were both con-
scious of being shaken and told to get up.
Peanut rubbed his eyes. " Gee, I dreamed one
of those burglars had grabbed me and was dragging
me into Lost River," he said.
'' I suppose if I'd slapped your face you'd have
dreamed of Alice Green," Lou laughed. ** Come on,
get up and wash yourself. Golly, but youVe dirty ! "
Peanut and Art were certainly dirty. They had
gone on their expedition the night before without
hats, and their hair was full of dust, their faces
smeared with it, and their hands almost black from
clinging to the dusty trunk rack behind the motor.
They both got up, and took off their clothes, shaking
clouds of dust out of them. Then they went down
to the brook, shivering in the chill morning air (it
was full daylight, but the sun was still hidden be-
hind the high eastern wall of Liberty) and washed
themselves. When they returned to camp, they
found breakfast waiting.
124 BOY SCOUTS
" Well, well, it pays to be a hero," said Peanut.
*' Somebody else does the work for you, then."
" Don't worry, it won't happen often, Mr. Modesty,"
said Frank. *' We were too hungry to wait, that's all."
After breakfast they doused their fire, packed up,
and went down the road to the Flume House. It
was still so early that none of the guests in the old
hotel were astir, though servants were about, sweep-
ing the verandas.
Peanut, Art and Rob showed where the rope had
been stretched across the road, with a red lantern on
it, to stop the escaping motor, and then led the way
to the garage. The two watchmen, pistols in hand,
were sitting before the door.
"Hello, boys!" the head watchman said. "We
still got 'em in there, in the corner room. Sheriff's
coming over from Littleton for 'em as soon as he
can get here. You'd better not look at 'em — might
make 'em unhappy," he added to Peanut, who was
trying to look in the high window.
Peanut laughed. "We did rather gum their
game, didn't we?"
" You sure did. Here, stand on this chair."
The boys all took a turn looking in the window.
What they saw was two men evidently asleep on a
blanket on the floor.
" Don't seem to trouble *em much," said Peanut
" Where's their car ? "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 125
One of the watchmen led the way into the garage,
and showed them the car, which had come six miles
on the rims.
** Stolen, of course,*' he said. '* It's a five thousand
dollar car, too. Somebody else will thank you, be-
side Mr. Goodwin. Oh, say, I nearly forgot. The
sheriff says to hold you boys till he comes, because
you've got to give evidence."
** Oh, no I " they all exclaimed. *' We've got to
get up Lafayette ! "
"Tell the sheriff we'll be at Mr. Goodwin's at
seven this evening, and he can take the boys' affi-
davits then," said Mr. Rogers.
" Well, I dunno. He told me particular to keep
**You can't keep 'em if they want to go, you
know, without a warrant," Mr. Rogers smiled.
** Here, keep their names and addresses for him,
and tell him, Mr. Goodwin's this evening."
** Well, you got a fine day for the mountain," the
watchman said. " Go see the Pool and the Flume
first, and then just keep right up the head of the
Flume. You'll hit the path."
" How long will it take us to make Lafayette ? "
" Six hours, I guess," he answered.
" Easy," said they. '* Good-bye."
They had turned away before Art and Peanut re-
126 BOY SCOUTS
membered to tip off the watchman about the third
thief, Jim, at the Profile stables. Then they started
The party now crossed the road, and entered a
path through the woods, marked " The Pool." After
a short walk through dense woods, they descended
rapidly through a break in a cliff wall, for nearly a
hundred and fifty feet, and stood beside the strangest
little lake they had ever beheld. It was about a
hundred and fifty feet across, more or less circular
in shape, and surrounded by high cliffs which made
it seem like a pond at the bottom of a crater. The
water, which was astonishingly clear, came into it
at the upper end in the form of a cascade, and es-
caped not far from the boys through a fissure, or
tiny caiion, in the rocks.
" My, rd like to swim in that I What a place to
dive in ! " cried Art. *' How deep is it ? "
"About fifty feet, I believe," said the Scout Master.
" Looks a thousand," said Peanut. " Come on,
let's all have one dive."
Rob felt of the water. " One would be about all
you'd want," he said. " Besides, we haven't time."
The Scouts left the Pool reluctantly, climbed back
up the cliff, and found the path to the Flume. This
Flume, they soon discovered, resembled almost ex-
actly the flume on Kinsman, save that the walls were
higher and stood farther apart, and it was also
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 127
longer. But the path to it was much more traveled,
and there was a board walk built up through it be-
side the brook, so that it did not seem so wild nor
impressive as the smaller flume on Kinsman. They
soon passed through it, found the path up Liberty,
and began to climb.
As on all the White Mountains, the first part of
the climb led through woods, and no views were to
be had, neither of the summit ahead nor the valley
behind. It was a steep path, too, much steeper than
the Benton Trail up Moosilauke, though not so steep
as the Beaver Brook Trail down which they had
tumbled the day before. At first everybody was
chattering gaily, and Peanut and Art were telling
over again all their experiences of the night before.
But gradually, as the sun mounted, as the trail grew
still steeper and rockier, as their packs and blankets
got heavier and hotter, conversation died out.
Everybody was panting. Rob, who was pacemaker
for the morning, would plod away, and then set
his pack down to rest. The others rested when he
did, and no oftener. Climbing began to be me-
chanical. Art consulted his watch and his pedometer.
"That Appalachian guide book isn't far from
right," he admitted to Mr. Rogers. "We aren't
making much over a mile an hour."
"That's enough, in this heat," the Scout Master
replied. "Better fill canteens at the next spring,
128 BOY SCOUTS
Rob,'* he called ahead. " I don't know whether
we'll get any more water to Lafayette. I've forgot-
ten this trail."
At the next spring they all took a long drink and
a long rest. Shortly after, they emerged above
timber, and found themselves to the northwest of the
peak of Liberty, and almost at its base, while ahead
of them the path pointed up the rocky ledges toward
Haystack. With full canteens to add to their load,
they plodded on.
Now they could see below them, far down into the
Notch, and across the Notch they could see the
steep side of Kinsman going up, and the peak where
they had unfurled the flag on the Fourth of July.
They began to realize for the first time, too, how
difficult it could become in a cloud to keep the path,
for where the trail led over bare rocks it was almost
indistinguishable under foot, and you had to look
ahead to find a pile of stones, or a place where it
wound through the mountain cranberries or other
Alpine plants, to find it. The sun was very hot on
their backs, and all of them, under the blankets and
knapsacks, were perspiring freely.
" I'm wringing wet,'* said Peanut. " Wish we
had the Pool right here. Would I go in ? Hm "
But this lofty, bare space was also swept by a
breeze, which curiously enough dried the perspira-
tion on their faces, and when they paused to rest,
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 129
taking off their packs, dried out their shirts so rap-
idly that the evaporation made them cold.
Once on top of Haystack, their way over the sum-
mit of the ridge lay plain before them, the view
opened out on both sides, and they dropped their
burdens to have a long look.
Straight ahead, the path dropped down to the
col between Haystack and Lincoln — a col being the
connecting spine, ridge, or saddle between two
peaks. This col was certainly a spine, bare, wind-
swept, narrow, nothing but an edge of gray tumbled
rock. The mountain dropped down sharply on both
sides, and the boys exclaimed, almost in a breath :
" Gee, rd hate to cross that with the winter storms
sweeping it I "
" I'd hate to be anywhere above timber line, in a
winter storm," said Mr. Rogers, *' unless I was dressed
like Peary on his dash to the Pole, and the path was
It was perhaps a mile across the col to Lincoln.
" And beyond that another mile or more — up all
the way— to Lafayette ! " the Scout Master cried.
" Shall we make Lafayette before we lunch, or not? '*
The Scouts all voted for it, and moved on again,
across the col to Lincoln. The path lay entirely
over stones, not great levels of ledge, but small,
broken stones, making walking with anything but
very stout boots on extremely trying to the feet.
I30 BOY SCOUTS
All the way, on their left, they could see down into
the forests of the Notch, and they could look, too,
down upon the Lonesome Lake plateau, and even
upon the top of Kinsman, for they were higher than
Kinsman already. On the other side, toward the
east, they looked down into a spectacle of indescrib-
able desolation — a wild region of deep ravines and
valleys separated by steep mountains, and the entire
region stripped to the bare earth by the lumbermen.
On some of the steep hillsides, slides had followed,
to complete the destruction. This desolation ex-
tended as far eastward as they could see, and was
evidently still going on, for off to the south they
could see a logging railroad emerging from the
former forest, and once they heard, very faint and far
off, the toot of a locomotive whistle.
'* When I was a boy your age, Rob," said Mr.
Rogers, " all that country in there, which is known
as the East Branch region, because the East Branch
of the Pemigewassett rises in it, was primeval
wilderness. There was a trail through from North
Woodstock over Twin Mountain to the Twin Moun-
tain House, with branches to Thoreau Lake and
Carrigain. It was wonderful timber — hemlocks a
hundred and fifty feet tall, great, straight, dark
spruces like cathedral pillars I I tramped through it
once — took three days as I remember. And look at
it now ! "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 131
" Oh, why do they allow it ! " cried Rob. " Why,
they haven't planted a single new tree, or let a single
old one stand. They've just stripped it."
" Yes, and spoiled the soil by letting the sun bake
it out, too," said Lou.
" We aren't such a progressive people, we Ameri-
cans, as we sometimes think we are," the Scout
Master replied. ** In Germany they'd have taken
out only the big trees, and planted little ones, and
when the next size was bigger, they'd have taken
them out, and planted more little ones, and so on
forever. And we Scouts could be hiking down
there, beside a rushing little river, in the depths of a
" Fm never going to read a Sunday paper again
— 'cept the sporting page ! " Peanut answered.
" Do you read any more of it now ? " Art asked.
" It wasn't the Sunday papers which stripped that
region," said Mr. Rogers. " It was a lumberman,
who made boards and beams of the timber. What
did he care about the future, so long as he got rich ?
Still, I blame the state and the nation more than I
blame him. He should never have been allowed to
lumber that wasteful way — nobody should. Look,
boys, there's a cloud on Washington again."
The boys had almost forgotten Washington in
their interest in the stripped forest below them.
They looked now far off to the northeast, twenty-
132 BOY SCOUTS
five miles away as the crow flies, and saw just
the blue bases of the Presidentials, wearing a white
'' Say, will that cloud come over here ? " asked
Peanut. ** Kind o' lonesome up here, as it is."
*' Ho, we've got a compass. We could always
just go west, down to the Notch road," said Art.
Peanut looked down into the Notch. ** Thanks,"
he said, " but if you don't mind I'd rather go by a
" I guess we've nothing to fear from those clouds,"
said the Scout Master. " The wind is west. They're
nothing but local."
By this time they had reached the top of Lincoln,
after a steady upward toil. Another col lay ahead
of them — ^just a huge knife blade of jagged stone,
with the path faintly discernible winding across it
and stretching up the rocky slope of the final stone
sugar loaf of Lafayette.
** There's journey's end!" cried Mr. Rogers.
** All aboard for the final dash to the Pole ! "
They descended rapidly from Lincoln, and soon
began the ascent again, across the rising slope of
the col, and then up the cone of Lafayette itself.
" I'm getting sort of empty," said Frank. " What
time is it, Art ? "
Art looked at his watch. *' No wonder I " he said.
" It's one o'clock, and after — twenty minutes after.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 133
What interests me is, how are we going to cook any
lunch up here on top?"
'*We can't," Mr. Rogers said. "Of course,
there's no wood. We'll just have to eat something
cold, or else wait till we can get down to timber
** Oh, dear I How long will that be ? " said Frank.
" I should fancy we could make timber in half an
hour from the top."
"That would be two, even if we didn't stay on top
any time, wouldn't it ? "
" I gotter stay on top long enough to dry my
shirt," Peanut answered. " It's sticking to me."
" Then you'll have to eat emergency rations and
sweet chocolate," said Art. " There's nothing else
which doesn't have to be cooked."
" Vv^e ought to bake some bread and have a bit of
potted ham, or something like that, for noon lunches,"
said Rob. " I move we do it to-night."
"To-night?" sniffed Peanut. "To-night, I guess
you forget, we dine on roast beef and plum pudding,
because Art and I are heroes ! "
" I did forget, both facts," Rob laughed,
" Well, which is it, emergency rations, or wait till
we get down to timber? " asked the Scout Master.
" Emergency rations ! " said Lou and Frank,
"Wait!" said Art and Peanut (who had eaten
emergency rations before).
134 BOY SCOUTS
" It's up to you to cast the deciding vote,'' said
Mr. Rogers to Rob.
Rob winked at the Scout Master and said, " Well,
if Art and Peanut are such heroes, a bit of nice,
chewy pemmican won't hurt 'em. I vote to stay on
''For two cents," said Peanut, "I'd punch you in
As they neared the top of the peak, they suddenly
heard voices, which sounded strange way up there,
far above the world, where for hours they had heard
nothing but the rushing of the wind.
" Hello 1 " exclaimed Mr. Rogers, " there's a party
here ahead of us."
"I'll bet there are women in it, too," cried Peanut.
" And I wanted to dry my shirt ! "
" Hm," said Art. " Seem to be times when even
you don't want women around."
There were, however, no women in the party. As
the Scouts crested the final broken fragment of rock,
they found themselves on a summit no larger than a
city back yard, and on that summit an old founda-
tion hole, where once a small summit house had
stood. Down in this hole, sheltered from the wind,
were three men. Like the Scouts, they wore khaki.
They, too, had packs and blankets, and they all
needed shaves. They were eating their lunch as the
boys suddenly appeared just above them.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 135
*' Hello I " they called up. ** Where did you come
" Up from the Flume,'* said the boys.
"Took the wrong way," said the men. ''That's
the way to go down. You got the long trail up."
" We like hard work," Peanut retorted. " Excuse
me while I dry my shirt."
He took ofT his pack and blanket, and then peeled
himself of his outer and undershirt, spread them on
a rock in the wind and sun — and began to shiver.
"Wowl How this wind evaporates you!" he
" Get down out of it," commanded the Scout Mas-
ter, "and keep moving. You'll get cold if you don't."
Peanut jumped into the foundation hole, out of
the wind, and swung his arms like a coachman in win-
ter. Art took off his shirts, too, and did the same
thing. The rest decided to wait till they made camp
at the base.
"And now for the emergency rations," cried Rob,
undoing his pack.
(" Look at those guys — sandwiches ! Oh, dear,
wish you had a gun to hold 'em up. Art ! " whispered
(" I'd like to," the other whispered back. " * Your
sandwiches or your life ! ' eh ? ")
Rob, meanwhile, had produced a small blue tin,
and was opening it. The three strangers looked on
136 BOY SCOUTS
with an amused curiosity. Rob sniffed the contents,
assured himself that it was fresh, and with his knife
blade dug out a chunk for each member of the
" Gee, is that all 1 get for lunch ? " said Frank,
contemplating the piece in his hand, no bigger than
an English walnut.
** It'll be all you'll want, believe me," said Peanut.
" And all you need to stop your hunger and nour-
ish you till night," Rob added. " That's condensed
Peanut took his piece over to the three men. " I'll
swap this excellent and nourishing morsel for a ham
sandwich," he said.
The men laughed. *' You will not ! " one of them
answered, hastily stuffing the last of his sandwich
into his mouth. *' I've tried that before, myself. If
you've got a little water to soften it up in, and a bit
of bread to put it on, it's not so bad, at that."
One of the other men passed over a sandwich —
but not to Peanut. He gave it to Rob. ** Divide
the bread," he said. " It'll make your rations go
Each boy, then, got a third of a slice of bread, and
a tiny morsel of ham. On this they put their chunk
of emergency rations, softened with the last of the
water from the canteens, and began to eat. Nobody
seemed to be enjoying the food very much, but
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 137
their expressions grew less pained the longer they
" Beats all how long you can chew this before it
disappears," said Lou. ** Gets sweeter, too."
" Maybe that's the bread. Bread almost turns to
sugar if you chew and chew it without swallowing,"
said Rob. *' But this pemmican stuff certainly is
"What's it made of ? " Lou asked.
" Rats and rubber boots," said Peanut.
Mr. Rogers laughed. " Not exactly — put on your
shirt, Peanut," he said. ** Pemmican was originally
made of dried venison, pounded up with fat and ber-
ries. Now it's made of dried beef pounded up with
dried fruits and fats, and packed into a jelly cake to
harden. That's about what this is, I fancy. It's
" All right, but where's the sweet chocolate ? "
Rob passed out the chocolate for dessert, and after
it was eaten, everybody began to complain of being
thirsty. The canteens were empty.
" There's a spring just below the summit," said one
of the three strangers.
"You mean there was^^ laughed a second. "You
drank it all dry on the way up."
" Let's get there on the way down before he does,"
138 BOY SCOUTS
" No fear," the first speaker laughed, ** we are go-
ing down over the ridge, the way you just came up.
We're doing Moosilauke to-morrow."
** By the Beaver Brook Trail ? " the boys asked.
** Yes. Have you been over it ? How is it ? "
" It ain't," said Peanut. " It was, but it ain't."
" What do you mean ? "
"He means it's eroded into pretty steep drops in
places," Rob put in. ** We thought when we came
down that it would be an awful pull up."
** There's a good logging road across the brook,
though," one of the men said. ** If you'd taken that
instead of the trail you'd have had no trouble. I was
over it last year."
" I'm glad we didn't," Art said — " at least as long
as we were coming down."
Both parties now packed up their loads, took a
last good look at the view, with Washington still
under the clouds, and said good-bye, the three
strangers going ofi down the ridge, the Scouts turn-
ing northwest, and winding down the summit cone,
over the rough, broken stones of the path. At the
base of the cone, they found the spring, a small,
shallow basin in the stones, so shallow that the water
had to be dipped gingerly to keep from stirring up
the bottom. By the time the last boy had drunk his
fill, in fact, there wasn't enough water left to dip.
Then the path turned due west, and descended at a
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 139
more gradual angle, still over small, flat, sharp frag-
ments of stone, toward a little pond in a hollow of
the mountain's shoulder, just below the line where
the dwarf trees stopped entirely.
They were soon on a level with this lake, which is
called E^gle Lake, but the path was two or three
hundred feet south of it, and to get in to it meant
fighting through tough dwarf spruce and other ver-
dure, only waist high, but as good as a wire fence.
They stuck to the trail, which led through this dwarf
vegetation almost on a level for some distance, then
actually began to go up-hill again, on to the west
shoulder of the mountain.
*' Oh, rats I " cried Peanut. " Fvegone up enough
to-day I "
" Heroes shouldn't be tired," said Frank.
" Heroes need sleep, just the same," Peanut re-
The ascentp however, was not for long. Soon they
swung northwest again, entered timber at last, and
began to descend rapidly. After a mile or so on this
tack, the timber growing ever taller, they brought up
against the end of Eagle Cliff, which rose straight up
in front of them. Here the path swung west again,
and began its final plunge to the Profile House. It
was a good, generous path through the woods. In
years gone by it used to be a bridle path, for people
ascended Lafayette on horseback.
I40 BOY SCOUTS
'' Vd hate to be the horse, though," Peanut said,
as he put his pole ahead of him, and cleared six feet
at a jump.
It was, indeed, a steep path, and they came down
it at a high rate of speed.
" Gee, we go up about a mile an hour, and we
come down about six 1 " Art exclaimed, catching a
tree beside the path to stop himself.
They began to have glimpses of the Profile House
between the trees. The trail suddenly slid out nearly
level in front of them ; other paths appeared, cross-
ing theirs ; and before they realized where they were,
they stood in the clearing, by the railroad station,
and just beyond them was the huge Profile House
and the colony of cottages.
Peanut and Art sprang ahead. " Whoa ! " cried
Mr. Rogers. " Suppose we leave our packs and
stuff in the depot, and prospect light-footed, eh ?"
The baggage master at the depot recognized Art
and Peanut. He had been one of the pursuing party
the night before. He stowed their things in his bag-
gage room. " Guess you can have the freedom of
the city I " he said. "Wouldn't wonder, if you went
to the hotel, they'd give ye something cold."
" Come on ! " cried Peanut.
" No," said Art, ** I ain't so thirsty I have to be
treated. I don't think we want to do that, do you,
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 141
'* What do you think — on second thought, Pea-
nut ? " asked the Scout Master.
" Well, we're taking a dinner from Mr. Goodwin,
ain't we ? "
" Yes," said Art, " but that's different. We helped
save his silver and stuff. And it's just in his familyc
Up there at the hotel, there'd be a crowd around —
women, and things. Looks kind of as if we were
trying to get into the lime-light."
** Guess you're right," Peanut replied. " Come
on, then, and show us the Old Man of the Mountain,
Mr. Rogers. But ain't there a place where we can
buy a drink ? "
" We'll find one — after we've seen the face," the
Scout Master laughed. He looked at his watch.
*' After four, boys," he added. ** We've got to get a
camp ready, and spruce up before dinner, and I've
got to go to the hotel and get a shave."
They stepped up from the railroad station to the
road. Directly before them was the Profile House,
a large wooden hotel, facing south. Behind it rose
the steep wall of Cannon Mountain, and south of it,
on the lowest terrace of the slope, was a double row
of cottages, ending, on a bend, with a group includ-
ing Mr. Goodwin's. Behind the boys, back where
they had come, they could see the first steep, wooded
slope of Lafayette, and to the north the great rocky
precipice of Eagle ClifT. Looking south again, the
142 BOY SCOUTS
road disappeared between the landslides of Lafayette
on the one hand, and the wall of Cannon on the
other, a narrow notch, not much wider than the road
itself. The opening where the boys stood was only
large enough to hold the hotel and cottages, and
three or four tennis courts, on which a crowd was
The party went south down the road, Peanut and
Art pointing out Mr. Goodwin's house, and the
track taken by the burglars, and quickly left the
houses behind. After a quarter of a mile or so, the
woods opened out ahead, and presently the boys
stood in a place where the road was enlarged to the
left into a semicircle, and in that semicircle a team
or a motor could stop for the view.
" It's the place ! " cried Peanut ** Here's where
they left the car ! And those are the bushes we
crawled into, Art I "
" And there's the Old Man of the Mountain," said
The Scouts followed his finger. Looking through
an opening in the trees across the road, toward the
southwest, they saw first a beautiful little lake, so
still that it mirrored every reflection, and then, ris-
ing directly out of the woods beyond this lake a
huge cliff, curved at first, but gradually attaining
the perpendicular till it shot up like the side of a
house, fifteen hundred feet into the air. At the very
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 143
top of it, looking southward down the valley, was,
indeed, the Old Man of the Mountain — a huge knob
of rock thrust forth from the pinnacle of the preci-
pice, and shaped precisely like a human profile, with
sunken eye under a brow like Daniel Webster's,
sharp nose, firm mouth, and, as Mr. Rogers said,
*' quite literally a granite chin.*'
The boys looked at it in silence for a moment, and
then Peanut said, " But it looks so much bigger in
all the pictures in the geographies. Why, it really
looks as small up there as — as the moon.*'
** That's because the photographs of it are taken
with a telescope lens, I guess," said Frank. "My
camera would make it look about six miles ofl."
" How big is it? " asked Lou.
" They say about eighty feet from forehead to
chin,*' the Scout Master replied. "And it's about
fifteen hundred feet up the cliff."
" I'd like to see it in full face," Lou added. " Could
we walk down the road and see it that way ? "
"We've not time, I'm afraid/' Mr. Rogers replied.
" We'd have to walk a mile or more. It isn't so
impressive full face. In fact, this is the only spot
where the human likeness is perfect. At many
points along the road the full face view shows only
a mass of rocks."
Lou was still looking at the great stone face gaz-
ing solemnly down over the valley.
144 BOY SCOUTS
** Ifs like the Sphinx, somehow/* he said. " Fve
always thought of the Sphinx looking forever out
over the desert, and this old man of the mountain
looks just the same way forever down the Notch. It
gives me a funny feeling — I can't explain it. But
somehow it seems as if he ought to be very wise."
Peanut laughed, but Mr. Rogers didn't laugh.
** Lou has just the right feeling about it," he said.
" Lou has just the feeling they say the Indians had.
To the Indians, the Great Stone Face was an object
of veneration. Did any of you ever read Haw-
thorne's story, * The Great Stone Face ' ? "
None of the boys ever had.
"Well, you ought to be ashamed of yourselves,"
said the Scout Master. ** I'm going to see if Mr.
Goodwin has the book, and read it to you. How
would you like to take to-morrow off, and climb up
to his forehead, and read the story there, and then
go over to the Crawford House by train, instead of
hiking the twenty-five miles over, on a motor road
full of dust?"
" Hooray I Me for that ! " cried Peanut.
" Me, too ! " cried the rest of the Scouts.
*' Well, we'll do it, if I can borrow the book," said
Mr. Rogers. " Now, back to make a camp ! "
At the depot the boys shouldered their packs
again, and Mr. Rogers directed them to go north
up the road till they came to Echo Lake.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 145
** Leave your packs at the little store, ' he said,
" and go down to the boat house and get the man to
take you out in a launch. I'll get a shave and meet
The Scouts set off up the road, and the Scout
Master went into the hotel. When he had been
shaved, he followed up the road, and as he drew
near Echo Lake, a beautiful little pond at the foot of
a great cliff just north of Eagle Clifi, he heard the
long-drawn note of a bugle floating out over the
water, and echoing back from the clifl. He called
the boys in from the landing.
'' Oh, that's lovely 1 " Lou exclaimed. " The
sound just seems to float back, as if somebody was
up on top of the clifl with another bugle, answering
you I "
They paid the boatman and went back to the
little store, where the boys had already consumed
two sodas apiece, and Peanut had bought two
pounds of candy. From there they went still farther
north up the road, and suddenly plunged down
a path to the left, into a ravine, with a brook at
the bottom, and in among a grove of gigantic hem-
" There are real trees ! " said Mn Rogers. " They
are relics of the forest primeval. ' This is the forest
primeval, the murmuring pines and the hemlocks '
—and so forth.**
146 BOY SCOUTS
" Only there's no * deep-mouthed neighboring
ocean/ '* Rob laughed.
" There's a brook," said Lou.
The hemlocks were indeed giants. They were
three or four feet thick, and rose sixty or eighty feet
without a limb, their tops going on up fifty feet
In among these superb trees, the boys made camp,
selecting a spot some way from the path, and hid-
den by underbrush. They all took a bath in the
cold brook, put on their one change of clean clothes,
washing out their socks and underclothes and hang-
ing them on twigs around the camp to dry. Then
they carefully combed their hair, dusted their boots,
and tied each others' neckties neatly. (Peanut's tie
was badly crumpled, for it had been in his pocket all
It was dark in the woods before they were ready,
and it suddenly occurred to them that they'd have
trouble finding the camp again, later in the evening.
** We might leave the lantern burning — if it would
last," said Lou.
" No, some one would see it, going by on the path,"
Art replied. " We don't want to risk having our
" I know — tie a white handkerchief to a bush by
the path where we turn off to camp, and then count
the number of steps back to the road," said Frank.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 147
"Almost human intelligence," Rob laughed
** And take the lantern with us, to find the handker-
" Right-o I " said Peanut.
It was time now to start for the dinner party.
They tied the handkerchief to the bushes by the
path, and everybody counted his own steps out to
the road, in case the mark should be lost, or taken
down by some passer-by. Then they moved up the
road, past the gaily lighted Profile House, where
they could see the guests eating in the big dining-
room with its large plate glass windows, and again
rang the bell of Mr. Goodwin's house — but more
quietly this time.
A servant ushered them in, and Mr. Goodwin and
his wife and son and daughter at once came forward
to greet them. The house was elaborately furnished
for a summer " cottage," and the boys were rather
conscious of their scout clothes and especially of their
" Gee," whispered Art, " keep on the rugs all you
can, or we'll dig holes in these hardwood floors."
'* So these are Peanut and Art," said Mr. Good-
win, after introductions all around, turning to the
pair who had given the alarm the night before.
** Vm sorry to say, we can't have dinner till the
sheriff has disposed of you two chaps. He's waiting
in the library now with a stenographer."
148 BOY SCOUTS
Mr. Goodwin led the way into his library, where,
sure enough, the sheriff was sitting.
** Here are your men," said the host. " Don't
keep 'em too long. We're all hungry."
The rest of the party sat near by and listened, while
the sheriff swore in Art and Peanut. First they had
to hold up their right hands and swear to tell the
truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Then they gave their names, ages and residence,
while the stenographer's pencil was busy making
shorthand marks which Peanut, regarding out of the
corner of his eye, thought looked more like hen tracks
than anything else.
'* Now, tell me exactly what happened last night,
from the beginning," said the sheriff. *' I don't want
to ask you to come way up here from Massachusetts
for the trial, so I'm taking this sworn testimony now.
I think w^e have evidence enough to make your
actual presence unnecessary."
Peanut started in on the story, told of his being
awakened by the sound of the motor stopping in
the road, of waking Art, of their sneaking out
through the bushes, and hearing the two burglars
** What did they say, as exactly as you can remem-
ber it ? " asked the sheriff.
Peanut turned red, and glanced toward Mrs.
Goodwin and her daughter. ** Have I got to tell
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 149
exactly ? '* he stammered. " We ain't allowed to
talk that way in the Scouts, even without ladies
Everybody laughed, and the officer with them.
" You can put in blanks," he answered.
Peanut, with Art's help, and also Rob's, who came
upon the scene at this point, as the reader will re-
member, and also with the aid of many " blanks,'*
reconstructed the conversation as well as he could.
Then Art took up the narrative, and described the
ride up the valley, the cutting of the tires, the pull-
ing out of the wire in the engine (which the burglars
had put back again), and the subsequent arousing of
" Well, that's some story ! " said the sheriff, with
admiration. " That's what I call quick action, and
brave action. One thing you didn't do you might
have — you might have cut out a piece of that wire
so they couldn't have put it back. But if you had,
they wouldn't have tried to get away in the car, but
would have taken to the mountain, and perhaps
escaped, so it's just as well."
He shook hands heartily with Art and Peanut,
and then with the rest of the boys, and departed.
" Now for dinner ! " cried Mr. Goodwin.
Mrs. Goodwin led the way to the dining-room,
while her husband explained to the boys as they
went along that all the wedding presents had been
I50 BOY SCOUTS
shipped back to a New York vault, under guard,
that day, to avoid the chance of another scare.
They took their places at the big table, which was
gay with candles. Art and Peanut having places of
honor beside Mrs. Goodwin and her daughter.
There were great, snowy napkins to spread on their
laps, and there was iced grape fruit to begin on, and
soup, and roast beef, and all sorts of good things,
ending up with ice-cream. As it was after seven
thirty before they sat down, and the boys had eaten
nothing but emergency rations at noon, you may be
sure that nobody refused a second helping of any-
thing, just to be polite. In fact, Mrs. Goodwin saw
to it that everything came around twice.
" My, nobody has eaten like this in my house for
a long time!" she said, ''and a housekeeper does
like to see her food enjoyed. John " — this to her
husband — " why don't you climb Lafayette every
day, so you can get up a real appetite ? "
•'I wouldn't, alas!" he laughed. ''Vd just get
lame legs and a headache. Lafayette's for the
young folks. Have some more ice-cream, Pea-
" Gee, rd like to— but I'm full," said Peanut, so
honestly that everybody roared.
" I don't suppose you carry an ice-cream freezer
in your packs, do you? " Mrs. Goodwin laughed.
" We don't," said Rob, ** nor grape fruit nor nap-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 151
kins, either. I'm afraid this luxury will spoil us for
camp to-morrow I "
" Do you know," Mr. Goodwin said, " I'm tired of
luxury, myself. If I was twenty years younger, I'd
get a blanket out and go with you boys for the next
few days, and eat bacon and flapjacks out of tin
plates, and have the time of my life."
** Come on 1 " the Scouts cried.
And Peanut added, *' You ain't old. Why,
Edward Payson Weston's lots older than you
are ! "
" And he walked from San Francisco to New York
didn't he? " Mr. Goodwin laughed. " Well, I guess
his legs are younger than mine. Where do you go
to-morrow, by the way ? "
This reminded Mr. Rogers of the book, so he
asked if he could lend him a copy of Hawthorne's
"Twice Told Tales."
** If you can," he said, " we are going up Cannon
to-morrow morning and read * The Great Stone
Face,' and then go over to the Crawford House
on the train, to be ready for the Bridle Path the
** Have we got it — the book? " Mr. Goodwin asked
She shook her head, but the daughter spoke —
"The Andersons have a copy, I know. I'll run
over and get it after dinner,"
152 BOY SCOUTS
"Fine — and as to that train — nothing doing,"
said Mr. Goodwin. " You'll all get in my touring
car after lunch, and the driver' 11 take you over to
Crawford's, and show you some sights on the way.
I'll tell him to take you through Bethlehem first.
Now, don't say no ! I want to do that much for
The Scouts thanked him, and agreed to be ready
at two o'clock, on the next day, for the start. They
rose from dinner now, and strolled out-of-doors.
There was music at the Profile House.
The entire party loitered along the board walk in
front of the cottages, with the great, dark wall of
Lafayette going up against the stars directly across
the road, and sat on the Profile House veranda a
while, listening to the music within. Dancers came
out and walked back and forth in front of them be-
tween dances — men in evening clothes, girls in low-
necked white dresses. It was very gay. But how
sleepy the Scouts were becoming ! Mr. Rogers saw
it, and whispered to their hostess. They walked
back to the house, got the book, said good-night,
and once more tramped down the road.
" Gee, it's ten o'clock," said Art. " Awful dissi-
pated, we are."
Peanut yawned. " Bet I'll hate to get up to-
morrow. Wow, some class to that dinner, though I
Ain't you glad we were heroes, boys ? "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 153
Lou was lighting his lantern. " I'm glad you
picked out Mr. Goodwin to warn," he laughed.
They were alongside of Echo Lake now. '* If I
wasn't so sleepy, I'd like to go down there and make
an echo now, in the night," said Lou. " It would be
kind of wild and unearthly."
" Yes, and easy to do, seeing' s we have no bugle
and no boat," said Frank. ** Me for bed."
They now turned in from the road, and followed
the path, each one counting his steps. But, as the
path was down-hill, and they had counted first when
going up-hill, everybody was still many paces shy
when Lou, who was leading with the lantern, sud-
denly spied the handkerchief, still tied to a bush.
They turned into the underbrush, and after consid-
erable stumbling in the dark, amid the undergrowth
and the gigantic hemlock trunks, the lantern light
fell on a shimmer of white — one of the shirts hung
up to dry — and they found their camp. It wasn't
five minutes later when the camp was once more
dark and silent
On the Forehead of the Old Man of the
THE camp next morning was still asleep at day-
break, and for the first time, almost, in the
history of the Southmead Scouts Art was not the
first to wake. He and Peanut were both asleep
when the rest sat up and rubbed their eyes, and it
was not till Rob rattled a pan and Lou began to
chop wood that the two boys aroused.
" Because you're heroes is no reason you should be
lazy,'* Rob laughed.
Peanut propped himself up on his elbow, and re-
garded the scene. The sun had not yet risen high
enough to look in over the northern shoulders of
Lafayette, and it was still dim among the great hem-
locks. Some forest birds were singing sweetly, a
hermit thrush far off sounding like a fairy clarion.
The brook could be heard running close by. The
woods smelled fresh and fragrant.
" I don't believe Til get up at all," Peanut an-
nounced. " Rather like it here. Gee, but I slept
hard last night ! Bet I made a dent in the ground."
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 155
'' Won't get up at all, eh?" Rob remarked, setting
down the coffee-pot. " We need more wood. Out
with you 1 "
He took hold of Peanut's blanket, and rolled the
occupant out upon the bare ground.
Peanut picked himself up sleepily, and hunted his
tooth-brush out of his pack. " Oh, very well ! " he
said, starting down to the brook for his morning
wash. " Only it would be nice one day just to lie
around in camp, and do nothing."
** We'll do just that, when we get to the Great Gulf,
or Tuckerman's Ravine, perhaps," said Mr. Rogers.
" But not to-day. Besides, we're going to get a
motor ride this afternoon."
It was after seven o'clock before camp was struck.
They left everything packed and ready to put aboard
the motor after lunch, and armed only with a small
package of raisins apiece, which Mr. Rogers had
mysteriously produced from his pack, and the last of
the sweet chocolate, and with their staffs and can-
teens, and the book, they set off.
•* Seems good to be going light," somebody re-
" It does that," said Art. " Let's whoop it up this
morning. By the way, we haven't cut our mileage
for two days."
" We can do it at lunch," said Peanut. " Won't
take us long to eat what we've got. That's a lead
156 BOY SCOUTS
pipe. Say, Mr. Rogers, did you have those raisins
yesterday ? "
"You'll never know I" the Scout Master laughed.
The path up Cannon Mountain (which, by the way,
is called Cannon Mountain because a rock on what
looks like the summit from the Profile House re-
sembles a cannon) started in near the hotel, and lost
no time about ascending. It began to go up with
the first step, in fact, through an evergreen forest,
and it never stopped going up till it emerged from
the evergreens upon bare rock, two miles away, di-
rectly across the Notch from the point on Lafayette
where the path reaches the end of Eagle Clifl.
" Looks as if you could almost throw a stone
across," said Peanut.
The boys now saw that the real summit of Cannon
was a mile away to the west, and instead of looking
down, as they had expected to do, upon the top of
Bridal Veil falls on the west side, where their real
mountain trip had begun, they were a long distance
from the falls. The Old Man lay to the south of
them, and it was toward him they made their way,
standing presently on top of the precipice above his
massive forehead, and looking southward through
the Notch. What a view it was! The ground be-
low their feet fell sheer away out of sight, fifteen
hundred feet to the valley below. To the right was
the great wall of Kinsman, to the left the bare
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 157
scarred ridges of Lafayette, Lincoln, Haystack and
Liberty, along which they had plodded the day be-
fore. In the green Notch between they could see
the white road and the little Pemigewassett River
flashing through the trees, on their way to the Flume
House, and far off, where the Notch opened out into
the sunny distances, the town of North Woodstock.
Beyond the opening, the boys could see the far blue
mountains to the south.
" That's what the Old Man of the Mountain is for-
ever looking at, boys," said Mr. Rogers. '* Not a
bad view, eh ? '*
** It's wonderful ! " said Lou.
The Scouts now lay down on the rocks, and Mr.
Rogers opened the book to the story of ** The Great
" This story," he began, " was written in Berkshire
County, pretty close to our home— in Lenox, in a
little red house at the head of Stockbridge Bowl, in
the summer of 185 1, when Hawthorne was living
there. It isn't exactly about this particular Old Man
of the Mountain, as you will see from the descrip-
tion. It's really about a sort of ideal great stone
face. But of course it was suggested to Hawthorne
by this one."
Then he read the story aloud. I wish all my
readers, before they go any further, in this book,
would get Hawthorne's "Twice Told Tales," and
158 BOY SCOUTS
read it, too, right now. If you've read it before,
tead it again. And try to imagine, as you read it,
that Rob and Lou and Frank and Art and Peanut
were listening to it, not in school, not in a house,
but sitting fifteen hundred feet above the Notch, al-
most on the forehead of the Great Stone Face itself,
and looking off at exactly the same view he looks
at, fifty miles into the blue distance.
When Mr. Rogers had finished the story, none
of the boys spoke for a minute. Then Peanut
said, his brows contracted, " I'm not sure I quite
Lou was gazing off thoughtfully down the valley.
** I think it means that Ernest was the man who
fulfilled the prophecy and grew to look like the
Great Stone Face because he didn't try to become
rich, or a great fighter, or a politician, or even a poet
looking for fame, but just tried to live as good a life
as he could. He was a kind of still man, and it
makes you want to be still and just sit and think, to
look out over the world the way the Great Stone
Mr. Rogers nodded his head in approval.
"You've got the idea, Lou," he said. ** I want all
of you to get something of it, too. There is a lot to
be learned from mountains as well as fun to be had
climbing them. I don't believe any of you realized
that to-day is Sunday, did you ? "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 159
"Gee, I hadn't I" cried Peanut " Tramping this
way, you lose track of time."
" Neither had I," said the rest.
" Well, it is," Mr. Rogers laughed. " And this is
our way of going to church. You remember what
the Bible says about the mountains ? * I will lift up
mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my
help. My help cometh even from the Lord.' You
see, long, long ago, men felt about the mountains as
we do now — that there was something big and
eternal about them ; and just as the Pemigewassett
Indians thought that the Great Spirit lived on
Moosilauke, and perhaps worshipped the Great Stone
Face here, so the men in Bible days thought of the
hills as the symbol of God's dwelling place. Then
later, in our own time, we find Ernest in the story
refusing to judge men by worldly standards, but
judging them by whether they resemble the Great
Stone Face — that is, judging them by whether they
were calm, and sweet, and good, like the mountains,
and the forests, and the still places.
" As Lou says, Ernest was a still man — that is, he
wasn't bustling around making war or making
money. When you come to think about it, the still
men are the greatest. The greatest man who ever
lived was Jesus Christ and He changed all history
by the Sermon on the Mount ; not by making wars
like Napoleon, but by new ideas which He had
i6o BOY SCOUTS
thought out, and by teaching love of your fellov^
men. Darwin, experimenting with plants and fishes
and animals and bugs, reached the theory of evolu-
tion, which made the nineteenth century so wonder-
ful. He was a still man. He didn^t fight nor make
money nor shout at the crowds, yet he altered the
whole conception of science and religion and human
thought. Ernest in the story just stayed down there
in his own valley, under the shadow of the moun-
tain, and did his daily work quietly, and loved his
neighbors, and preached wise words to them, and
made his corner of the world a little better and hap-
pier — and suddenly it was he who resembled the
Great Stone Face,
" Look out, boys, over the Notch, and see what
the Old Man sees. Doesn't it make all our little
human rows and fights and ambitions seem small
and petty ? The Old Man will still be looking when
you and I are dead and forgotten. While we are
here, however, let's try to be a bit like him, worthy
of this view, and not talk too much unless we have
something to say, and be charitable with all our
neighbors, and just try to remember that no matter
if lessons in school don't go right, or we are licked
in baseball, Lafayette and Cannon and Kinsman are
still here, the Old Man is still looking down the val-
ley. Let's lift up our eyes unto the hills, and get
strength. Next winter, if you feel like being cross
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS i6i
to your mother some morning, or doing a mean
thing to somebody who's done a mean thing to you,
just remember this view, just say to yourself, * The
Great Stone Face is looking calmly down the
valley, and expects me to be calm, too, and gen-
erous, and kind, because those things are what
really make men great/ Will you try to remember,
boys ? "
** Sure ! " cried Peanut,
** I can never forget this view," said Lou.
" Whenever I get sore or cross, I always go out in
the woods,*' said Art
" Say,'* Peanut added, ** I like to go to church this
way ! '^
The rest laughed, and " church " was over for the
morning. The boys now munched their raisins, and
cut their last two days' mileage on their staffs. From
the camp on Moosilauke to Lost River was four
miles, through the river one, back to the store for
the packs, two more, to North Woodstock five, and
up to the camp by the Flume House six. That made
eighteen miles, and Art and Peanut added another
mile on their staffs for their walking during the pur-
suit of the burglars. The mileage for the next day,
according to Art's pedometer, showed nine miles from
camp to the Pool and then to the top of Lafayette,
and five miles down the mountain and to the base
camp. Then there were two more miles of walking
i62 BOY SCOUTS
about to Mr. Goodwin's house, Echo Lake, the
Profile, and so on — a total of sixteen.
The boys washed down their frugal meal of raisins
and chocolate with all the water from the canteens
(" Gee," said Frank, ** it beats all how much you
drink on mountains. I suppose it's due to the rapid
evaporation.") and shortly before one began the
descent. It was made in quick time. With no packs
to bother them, the Scouts could vault on their poles,
and they came down the two miles in seventeen min-
utes. They were hot and panting at the base, and
surprised at their own record.
** Takes you in the front of your legs, and in be-
hind your knees," said Frank. " I suppose that's
because we don't develop those holding-in muscles
on the level."
** Well, we'll develop 'em before we get home, I
guess," said Peanut, rubbing his shins.
They now went to the Goodwins' house to pay
their party call, and say good-bye, and then returned
to camp to wait for the motor. They had all their
stuff out beside the road when the car, a big, seven
passenger touring car, came along, and in they piled.
They drew lots for the front seat, and Peanut won.
The other five got into the tonneau, and with a
shout, the car started up — or rather down the road,
for they were on the top of a bill.
The Crawford Notch
THE road kept on going down, too, through the
woods. The driver told them that this was
Three Mile Hill, and nobody disputed him. It was
certainly three miles. All the cars they met coming
up were on the lowest speed, and chugging hard.
At the bottom, they came into the little village of
Franconia, and behind them they could see the
mountains they had been climbing, piled up against
" How about grub ? " Art suddenly exclaimed.
"We've got to stock up before we start to-morrow.
In fact, we haven't enough for supper to-night — and
Nobody had thought of that, but Mr. Goodwin's
chauffeur was equal to the emergency. He drove to
the storekeeper's house, who opened the store, and
sold them what they needed.
"Suppose Fm breaking the law," he said, "but /
shouldn't want to see you fellers go hungry ! "
Then they got in the car again, turned eastward.
climbed a hill past the Forest HiJl Hotel, and sput/
i64 BOY SCOUTS
along the Gale River road toward Bethlehem, a
pretty road through the woods, beside the rushing
Gale River. After a few miles, the road climbed a
long hill, away from the river, and suddenly, at the
top of the hill, they looked out across the valley to
the whole panorama of the White Mountains. To
the right, a little behind them, rose Cannon and
Lafayette. Directly south was the sharp cone of
Garfield, then the two tall Twins, then, still far to the
east, but nearer than they had yet seen them, the
blue Presidentials, with Washington clear of cloud,
and the Summit House showing.
" Some sight ! " exclaimed Peanut.
They now came speedily into Bethlehem, a town
high upon a hill, with many hotels and many stores
and summer houses, along a single street, a street a
mile long, with golf links at one side of the road,
and many people in gay summer clothes walking up
and down. The chauffeur drove the length of the
street and back (stopping, at Peanut's demand, to
get sodas at a drug store) and then turned the car
eastward once more, toward Mount Washington.
The going was good, and the driver " let in the
juice,*' as Peanut expressed it. They rushed along
at thirty miles an hour, with Mount Washington get-
ting closer every moment.
The Scouts took off their hats, and the warm wind
blew tivrougfh their l^air.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 165
" Pretty fast walking we're doing to-day I " cried
In less than an hour, in fact, they had swung with
the bend of the rushing Ammonoosuc River into a
considerable level plain, and found themselves in the
midst of a settlement. There were two or three rail-
road tracks, cottages, a small hotel, then a big hotel
— the Fabyan House, and a junction railroad station,
and then, still closer to the great wall of the Presi-
dential range, which now loomed up directly in front
of them, the Mount Pleasant House, and half a mile
to the left, across a beautiful green golf course, the
huge bulk of the Mount Washington Hotel.
" Golly, that hotel is as big as Mount Washington
itself," said Art.
The chauffeur laughed. " Yes, and the prices are
as high," he said.
They now passed along the road, between the two
hotels, headed south, and then began to go up-hill,
leaving the Presidential range more and more on
their left. Soon they lost sight of Washington, with
the curving line of the railroad up its flank. After
two miles, they lost sight of all the range. On their
left was only a high, wooded slope. On their right
was the same. In front of them a white hotel and
railroad station suddenly appeared, and in front of
that was only a narrow defile between the \wo hills,
just big enouQ^H to let the road and railway through.
i66 BOY SCOUTS
" The Crawford House ! *' said Mr. Rogers. " And
ahead is the gateway to the Crawford Notch. All
They got out of the motor beside the hotel, and
thanked the chauffeur for their trip. They had come
twenty-seven miles farther on their way since two
o'clock, and it was not yet four !
" Now,'* said Mr. Rogers, when the car had turned
back home, " the Crawford Bridle Path starts right
here in these woods across from the hotel. That's
it, there. I move we tote our stuff up it far enough
to make camp, and then take a walk down into the
" Second the motion," said Frank.
Picking up their burdens, the boys walked a quar-
ter of a mile eastward, by a beaten path that ascended
at a comfortable angle, not far from a brook. Pres-
ently they found a pool in the brook, hid their stuff
in the bushes fifty feet from the path, and hurried
back to the Crawford House.
Just below the hotel and the railroad station was a
" That pond," the Scout Master said, " is the head
waters of the Saco River. We are on a divide.
Behind the hotel, the springs flow north into the
Ammonoosuc, and thence into the Connecticut.
They empty, finally, you see, into Long Island
Sound. The water of this lake empties into the
IN- THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 167
Atlantic north of Portland, Maine. Yet they start
within two hundred yards of each other."
Just south of the Httle pond, the boys noticed a
bare, rocky cUff, perhaps a hundred feet high, rising
sliarp from the left side of the road. The top was
*'Look!" said Lou. "That cliff is just like an
elephant's head, with his trunk coming down to the
road ! '*
Mr. Rogers laughed. ** They call it the Elephant's
Head," he said. ''You're not the first to discover
When they had passed the Elephant's Head, they
saw that the gate of the Notch was, in reality, not
wide enough to admit both the carriage road and
the railroad. The railroad, on their right, entered
through a gap blasted in the solid rock. A few steps
more, and they were in the gate themselves, and the
wonderful panorama burst upon them.
They saw that the railroad kept along the west
bank of the Notch, high above the bottom, but the
carriage road plunged directly down, beside the
Saco River (at this point but a tiny brook). On the
west side of the Notch Mount Willard rose beside
them, and south of that Mount Willey shot up almost
precipitously, the latter being over four thousand feet
high. On the east side was the huge rampart of
Mount Webster, also four thousand feet high, and
i68 BOY SCOUTS
nearly as steep, with the long white scars of land-
slides down its face.
" Well ! " said Peanut, " the Franconia Notch was
some place, but this one has got it skun a mile.
Gee 1 Looks as if the mountains were going to
tumble over on top of you ! "
*' They did once, on top of the Willey family,'*
said Mr. Rogers. *' Come on, we'll walk down till
we can see how it happened."
The road plunged rapidly down-hill, into the forest
at the bottom of the Notch. They met one or two
motors chugging up, and having a hard time of it.
In one case, everybody but the driver was walking,
to lighten the load.
** I came down this hill on a bicycle once — only
once," said the Scout Master. *' It was back in 1896,
when everybody was riding bicycles. I was trying
to coast through the Notch. Somewhere on this
hill I ran into a big loose stone, head on, and the
bicycle stopped. I didn't, though. The man with
me couldn't stop his wheel for nearly a quarter of a
mile. Finally he came back and picked me up, and
took me back to the Crawford House, where they
bandaged up my head and knee. Somebody brought
the wheel back on a cart."
"Say, it would make some coast on a bob-sled,
though ! " cried Peanut. " Wouldn't be any rocks
to dodge then."
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 169
" And there'd only be about ten feet of snow in
here to break out, I reckon," Art answered.
** Nearer thirty," said Mr. Rogers.
Over two miles below the Crawford House they
came to the site of the old Willey House, and saw
through the trees to the west the towering wall of
Mount Willey, scarred still by the great landslide,
seeming to hang over them.
** There's where she started," said Mr. Rogers,
pointing to the top of the mountain. " It was back
in late August, in 1826, that the slide came. There
had been a drought, making the thin soil on the
mountain very dry. Then came a terrific storm, a
regular cloudburst, and the water went through the
soil and began running down on the rocks under-
neath. That started the soil and the trees on it
sliding, and they gathered headway and more soil
and debris and rocks as they came, the way a snow-
ball gathers more snow, and presently a whole strip
of the wall was thundering down.
'* There had been a smaller slide in June, which
had terrified the family, and Willey had built a sort
of slide-proof shelter down the road, in case another
came. It wasn't so far away that the family didn't
have time to get to it, if they started when they heard
the slide first coming, and nobody has ever been
able to explain why none of them got there. James
Willey, a brother of the dead man, however, always
I70 BOY SCOUTS
said that his brother's spirit came to him in a dream,
and told him that the terrible rain, which had caused
a rise of twenty-four feet in the Saco, made them fear-
ful of being drowned, and when the water reached
their door-sill, they fled not to the shelter hut, but
higher up the slope. Then, when the slide came,
they were too far away from the hut to escape.
They had evidently been reading the Bible just be-
fore they fled, for it was found open in the house."
" In the house ? " cried Peanut. ** Didn't the
house get swept away ? "
** No, that's the oddest and saddest part of the
story. The slide split on a great boulder or ledge
behind the house, and if they'd stayed in it, not a
soul would have perished. As it was, Mr. and Mrs.
Willey, five children, and two hired men were all
killed. Three bodies were never found. Only the dog
escaped. He appeared at a house far down the road,
the next day, moaning and howling. He was seen
running back and forth for a few hours, and then he
disappeared and was never seen again. It was two
or three days before the floods went down enough to
allow rescue parties to get up the Notch, however."
" Let's go see the rock that split the slide," said
Mr. Rogers led the way behind the site of the old
house, and showed them the top of the rock, above
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 171
"This boulder was thirty feet high in 1826/' he
said. " The landslide, as you see, nearly buried it ;
but it split the stream, and the debris all rushed in
two currents on either side of the house, uniting
again in the meadow in front. The house stood for
many years after that. I think it was destroyed
finally by fire.'*
** But what gets me is, why should anybody want
to live in such a lonesome spot, anyhow ? " said
Peanut. " Gee, it's getting dark down here al-
** Well, there was no railroad in those days," Mr.
Rogers answered, " and the road through the Notch
was the main artery of travel to the northern side of
the mountains. I suppose the Willey House made
a good stopping place for the night. Let's go up to
the railroad now, and get a look at the engineering
job, which was a big thing in its day — and is still, for
They climbed some distance through birch trees
up the steep western wall of the Notch before reach-
ing the railroad. Once upon it, they saw the great
gap in the hills to far better advantage, however,
than from the road below. Willey shot up directly
over their heads, as steep a long climb, probably, as
there is anywhere east of the Rocky Mountains.
The Scouts came very near deciding to give up a
day from Washington, and tackle it. Directly
172 BOY SCOUTS
across the Notch they could see the whole long,
beetling brow of Webster.
** It kind of looks like the pictures of Daniel," said
Peanut. ** Stern and frowning."
" And the slides are the furrows in his forehead,"
But it was looking north that the view was most
impressive. The railroad hung dizzily on the side
wall, with the rocks apparently tumbling upon it from
the left, and it about to tumble down the rocks to the
right. It curved eastward a mile or two ahead, and
at the bend, facing down the Notch, was the precip-
itous southern wall of Mount Willard, almost a sheer
rock cliff a thousand feet high. As the party walked
up the track, the cliff grew nearer and nearer, and as
the daylight faded in this deep ravine, it seemed
more and more not to be straight up, but to
be hanging forward, as if ready to fall on top of
" I'd hate to be in here during a thunder-storm,"
said Lou. '' It's — it's kind of terrible ! "
They came through the gate of the Notch at six
o'clock, and there was the Crawford House in day-
light, and above it, on the slope of Clinton, were the
rays of the sun !
" Good little old sun," said Peanut. " Wow I I'd
hate to live where it set every day at four o'clock."
They now hurried up the Bridle Path to their
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 173
camp, and Peanut tied the flag to a tree, in honor of
the first camp on the Washington trail, while the
others began preparations for supper or cut boughs
for the night.
When the supper dishes were cleared away, they
heard a faint sound of music coming up to them
from below. Peanut pricked up his ears.
" Concert at the Crawford House ! " he said.
" Lef s go down and hear it."
** It sounds pretty nice right here," said Mr.
" Aw, come on ! " Peanut urged. ** We can get
post-cards there, too, I guess. Art wants to send
one to his Pinkie."
" Shut up ! " said Art. "What you really mean is
that you want to get some candy."
" No, I don^t. I got some left from this afternoon."
** You have 1 " said Frank. " You old tightwad !
Why don't you pass it around ? "
" 'Cause I sat on it by mistake," Peanut answered.
** Come on down to the hotel."
" Maybe we'd better," Rob put in. " We can all
send a card home to our folks."
'* Not forgetting Pinkie," said Peanut to Art, as he
ducked down the path, stumbling in the dark.
Lou took the lantern, and tied his handkerchief
to a bough over the entrance to the camp. The
rest waited till this was done, and followed be-
174 BOY SCOUTS
hind him. They didn't catch Peanut till the very
"That was easy/' he said. **rm like the old
geezer on Moosilauke — got a sixth sense in the soles.
of my feet. Besides, if you get off the path, you
bump into a tree, which knocks you back in."
The brightly lighted windows of the Crawford
House were open, and the sound of the orchestra
was floating out. Many people were walking up
and down on the veranda. They were all dressed
elaborately, many of the men in evening clothes.
The little party of five boys and a man, in flannel
shirts and khaki, attracted much attention as they
entered the lobby of the hotel.
*'Gee," Art whispered, "think of coming to the
mountains for a vacation, and having to doll all up
in your best rags I That's not my idea of fun."
"It's my idea of the ultimate zero in sport,"
Peanut had at once found the post-card stand,
and was offering Art a " pretty picture for Pinkie "
as the latter came up.
" All right I " Art laughed. " Til send it ! "
But he wouldn't let anybody else see what he
The others all sent cards home, and, not to be
outdone by Art, they sent cards also to the girls
they had met in Lost River. Peanut found a
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS
picture of the top of Mount Washington to send
to Alice, and he carefully drew a picture of himself
upon the topmost rock, like this :
On the other side he wrote, **The persevering
Peanut on the Peak."
*' Guess that's some alliteration ! " he said. ** Mr
Rogers, what painter's name began with P ? "
** Perugino," said the Scout Master.
" Do you mind spelling it — slowly ? "
Mr. Rogers spelled it, and Peanut added on the
card — " Painted by Perugino."
"Guess that'll hold her royal highness for a
while ! " he laughed.
Then he bought a stamp, and triumphantly
dropped the post-card in the letter box.
The boys sat on the veranda for a while, listening
176 BOY SCOUTS
to the music, until Rob and Mr. Rogers noticed that
Art's eyes were closed, and Peanut's head bobbed
down upon his chest every few minutes, and Frank
and Lou were yawning.
" Bunk ! " said Rob.
Lou relit the lantern, and they climbed back up
the path to camp.
*' We are on the way up Washington at last," said
the Scout Master as they were rolling up in their
blankets. " At this time to-morrow, we'll be asleep
on the highest point east of the Rockies, and north
" Hooray," said Peanut. " Let Per — Per — Peru-
gino know, please.'*
A Fight with the Storm on the Crawford
THE morning dawned cold, with a north wind,
and the Scouts woke up shivering. As they
were in the woods on the west slope of a mountain,
it would be some time before they could see the sun,
but so far as they could get a glimpse through the
trees to the west and north, the day promised well
for the ascent of Washington.
'* Looks clear," said Art. **I wonder if old Wash-
ington has got a cloud cap on ? "
*' We'll know before very long," said the Scout
Master. ''Even if it has, I don't think we've got
much kick coming. Here we've been out in the
open since the night before the Fourth, and not a
bad day yet."
" Right-o ! " said Peanut. "Weather man must
have known we were up here."
The party ate a good breakfast, chiefly of fresh
eggs, which Lou ran down to the Crawford House
and bought while the fire was being made. Then
the packs were carefully packed, the blanket rolls
178 BOY SCOUTS
firmly strapped, compasses examined and stowed in
the pockets, and the party was ready for the ascent.
They moved rather slowly into the path, and turned
upward, for the loads were heavy. They were
carrying enough provisions for four days, the evapo-
rated vegetables and powdered milk and eggs hav-
ing been largely saved for this final trip over the
bare Presidentials, where they would be far from any
sources of fresh supply, and their weight increased
by flour, a little butter, some coffee, bacon, potted
ham and sweet chocolate purchased the day before
** I feel like a packhorse," said Peanut.
" Don't you mean a donkey?" Art laughed.
"Speaking of horses," said Mr. Rogers, as they
plodded up the trail through the woods, '* this Craw-
ford Bridle Path was made originally for horses, little
burros I suppose they were, and folks even when I
was a boy used to go up on their backs. I suppose
the cog railroad put that form of transportation
gradually out of business. Now nobody goes up this
way except on Shanks' mare."
"When was this path made?" asked Frank.
" It was the first path cut on the Presidential
range," Mr. Rogers replied. " Abel Crawford
opened it in 1819, as far as the summit of Clinton —
three miles from the Crawford House. It's another
five and a half or six to the top of Washington,
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 179
however, and it wasn*t till about 1840, 1 believe, that
one of Abel's sons converted it into a bridle path and
carried it on to Washington. You see, by that time,
people had begun to visit the mountains for their
vacations in large numbers."
" So the part we are on is nearly a hundred years
old 1 " Lou exclaimed.
They plodded steadily upward, by a fairly steep
grade, though not a difficult one. The rising sun
was now striking down into the spruce and hemlock
woods about them, but they noted that it was rather
a hazy sun.
"I bet there's a cloud on Washington," Art
"What'll we do if there is? Can we climb in
it?" Frank asked.
" That all depends," the Scout Master replied,
"upon how bad a cloud it is. If we get into a
storm up there, a real storm, we'll beat it back, you
bet ! I haven't told you, I guess, that as late as
1900 two men lost their lives on this path in a snow-
storm on the 30th of June — that's hardly more than
a week earlier than to-day. Down here it's mid-
summer, but up there on the five thousand or six
thousand foot level it's still early spring."
" Golly ! " said Peanut, in such a heartfelt manner
that the rest laughed — though they laughed rather
i8o BOY SCOUTS
"I ought to add," the Scout Master went on,
"that W. B. Curtis and his companion, Allen
Ormsby, the two men who died, would not have per-
ished, probably, if they had turned back when they
first saw threats of bad weather, as they were warned
to do, instead of trying to keep on, or even if there
had been a shelter hut, as there is now, on the long,
bare, wind-swept col between Monroe and the summit
cone of Washington. They tried to build a shelter
under Monroe, and then left that to press on to the
summit. Curtis didn't quite get to the site of the
present hut, but doubtless he would have if the hope
of it had been there to spur him on. As it was, he
evidendy fell and injured himself, and Ormsby died
some distance up the final cone, struggling in a mad
attempt to get to the top and find aid for Curtis.
He had fifty bruises on his body where the wind had
blown him against the rocks< Curtis was thinly
clad, and he was sixty years old. Two guides, de-
scending, who met them on Pleasant, had warned
them not to go on — that there was snow and terrible
wind above ; but they evidently didn't realize at all
what they were in for."
" Oh, well, we've got blankets, and you know the
way," cried Peanut. "What do we care? Guess
we'll ride out anything that can hit us in July ! "
The conversation was suddenly interrupted by a
sharp " S-sh I " from Art, who was leading. The
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS i8i
rest stopped short, and looked up the path in the
direction of his pointing finger.
There, right in the path fifty feet ahead, pecking
away at the mould exactly like a hen in the barn-
yard, was a big brown partridge ! The Scouts stole
softly toward it, expecting every moment to see it
rise and go whirring off through the woods. It did
stop feeding, raised its head to look at them, and then
hopped up the bank beside the path and began
**Good gracious, is it a tame partridge?" Art
whispered in astonishment.
But his astonishment was still greater when, a mo-
ment later, the whole party stood in the path not six
feet from the bird, and saw that it was one of a small
covey of six. Four of them were feeding on the
ground, and making soft, pretty coots, like hens on a
hot summer day. Two were perched lazily on the
low branch of a hemlock. They paid no attention
to the Scouts.
" Gee I " said Frank, ** you could knock 'em over
with a stick ! Let's have partridge for dinner."
" Nix ! " said Art. " It's out of season. Besides,
I wouldn't kill anything so tame. I guess they're
not hunted much here. I never saw 'em tame like
this before in my life. Down home they'd have been
a mile away by now."
The birds looked up at the sound of his voice, and
i82 BOY SCOUTS
moved a few feet farther of!. Then they began feed-
ing again, the hens following the cock in a sort of
" They certainly are pretty/' Rob said. ** I didn't
know a partridge was so pretty. Take a picture of
" Not sun enough in under those trees," Frank
sighed. " I wish I could."
The boys were reluctant to leave the partridges,
but the day was mounting, and they pressed on.
The trees were growing more and more stunted,
and rocks began to appear in the trail. Now and
then there was a break to the north, and they could
see far below to the broad green intervale of Bretton
Woods. In another half hour, the forest had shrunk
to dwarf shrubs, and they emerged above timber
line almost upon the top of Clinton. The summit,
however, lay a few hundred feet to the south of
them, and shut out the view in that direction.
Northward, they could see for a long distance.
Westward, too, they looked back at the first moun-
tains toward Franconia. Ahead of them, they saw
only a great, bare, rocky ridge rising gradually to
the dome of Mount Pleasant, and to the left of this,
northeastward, the sloping shoulders of the moun-
tains beyond, falling away to the valley far beneath.
Washington was hidden somewhere beyond Pleasant
— still six miles away. It was nine o'clock. The
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 183
dome of Pleasant was free from clouds. The north-
ern sky was blue. Yet the sun was hazy, and south-
eastward there seemed to be a haze over everything.
The wind was cold. Mr. Rogers shook his head, but
Sitting down to rest, and ease shoulders from the
pull of the pack straps, he pulled the little green Ap-
palachian guide-book out of his pocket, and read the
" Caution " therein about the Crawford Path :
" This path is one of the most dangerous in the
White Mountains, on it no less than four persons
having lost their lives. For a long five miles it is
above tree line and exposed to the full force of all
storms and there is but one side-trail leading to the
shelter of the woods. The following precautions
are suggested : — Persons unfamiliar with the range
should not ascend the Crawford Path except in fine
weather and beginners should not attempt it alone.
If trouble arises south of Pleasant go back over
Clinton. If on Pleasant go down the Mount Pleas-
ant Path. If between Pleasant and Franklin re-
member that by returning via the south loop there is
protection from north and northwest winds in the
lee of the mountain. Between Franklin and the cone
of Washington the Club's Refuge Hut should be
used. This is the most dangerous part of the path.
Never, under any circumstances, attempt the cone if
a storm has caused serious trouble before its base is
reached. Should the path be lost in cloudy
weather go north, descending into the woods and
following water. On the south nearly all the slopes
are much more precipitous and the distance to civili-
zation is much greater.*^
i84 BOY SCOUTS
"Say, what are you trying to do, scare us to
death ? " Peanut saidc
** No, I'm not trying to scare you," Mr. Rogers
answered. *' But I do want to impress on you, be-
fore v/e begin our two or three days on these sum-
mits, that they are dangerous mountains, and that
here, if anywhere, our scout motto, 'Be prepared,'
is the one to Hve by. As you say, we have blankets,
plenty of food, and compasses, and we can go down
anywhere we want, if need be, into the timber, and
get through. But we might get scattered, or after
to-day we might split for a time into groups, and I
want you all to know what to do. Now, let's on
Packs were resumed, and the party started ahead
along the rocky path toward the domed summit of
Mount Pleasant, which from this high col was
hardly more than a hill of rocks, rising a few hundred
feet above the path. They plodded on for a mile or
more, and began to see over into the great wilder-
ness to the south To the north, at their very feet,
lay the Bretton Woods intervale, with the hotels and
golf links, but to the south the pitch was much
steeper, and dropped into a region of forest and
tumbled mountains without a house or road of any
sort as far as the eye could see.
Now the path divided, the trail to the left leading
directly over the summit of Pleasant. They took
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 185
the right hand trail, and dropped down a little, go-
ing along through some low scrub which had climbed
up from the gulf below, protected from the north
winds. It was warmer here in the shelter of Pleas-
ant, and they stopped for a long drink by a spring.
But, two miles from Clinton, they rose again beyond
Pleasant upon the bare col between Pleasant and
Franklin, and got the full force of the north wind,
which seemed to be blowing harder than before.
The sun, too, was getting more misty. Mr. Rogers
was watching the south and southeast, but while it
was very hazy in that direction, the direction of the
wind didn^t seem to indicate that the mist bank
could come their way. They rested a moment, and
then began the toilsome ascent up over the waste of
strewn boulders toward the summit of Franklin. The
path was no longer distinct. Here and there it was
plain enough, but in other places it could be detected
only by the piles of rock, or cairns, every hundred
feet along the way.
As they drew near the summit of Franklin, Frank,
who happened to look back down the trail, shouted
to the rest.
" Look," he said, " somebody's coming up behind
The others turned. Sure enough, half a mile back
down the trail, were two people, a man and a
woman, evidently hurrying rapidly.
186 BOY SCOUTS
" They haven't any packs or blankets," said Art.
" Nor anything at all, but sweaters tied around
their waists, as far as I can see," Lou added.
'* Probably going up for the day only, and expect-
ing to get down again before night," said the Scout
Master. " They'll have to hurry. They seem to be
hurrying. They'll catch us all right, at the rate
they are coming now, before we get beyond Mon-
A few moments later, the Scouts were on top of
Franklin, 5,029 feet, the first time they had been
above the five thousand foot level except on the
summit of Lafayette. Directly ahead, a little over a
mile away, was the summit of Monroe, two jagged
twin shoulders of rock, with the south wall plunging
down almost precipitously into the great pit of Cakes
Gulf. Beyond Monroe, rising a thousand feet higher
into the air, at last the great summit cone of Wash-
ington was fully revealed, and even as they gazed
upon it, a thin streamer of grayish white cloud blew
against it out of nothingness, and then shredded out
to the southward.
" I don't like that," said Rob.
•' Hm," said Mr. Rogers, " if it's no worse than
that we needn't worry. It's those two behind I'm
The Scouts moved on, across the col between
Franklin and Monroe, with the north wind blowing
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 187
an increasing gale, and always now on their right
the yawning pit of Oakes Gulf. They were not more
than half-way across when the couple behind them
came over Franklin, following them. They were
under the southern side of Monroe, some little dis-
tance below the summit, and very close to the head
wall of the gulf, when the couple caught them.
Meanwhile the cone of Washington had gone out
of sight in a white mass. Southward, the view was
shut out, for the haze had moved up against the
wind. Down at their very feet, in Oakes Gulf, a
cloud suddenly appeared from nowhere, coming to
the last scrub evergreens.
The couple hailed the boys with panting breathe
" How much farther is it up Washington ? " the
Mr. Rogers and the Scouts turned and looked at
them. They were young, evidently city bred, and
they had on very light shoes. The girl had on a
silk waist, the man a stiff collar ! They had no food
with them, having eaten some sandwiches they
brought, so they said, as they walked. They had put
on their sweaters, and had no other protection.
" You are two miles from the summit yet," said
Mr. Rogers, ** with the hardest part of the climb
** Oh, John, I can never do it I " said the girl.
" We've £^ot to do it," the man answered. " You
i88 BOY SCOUTS
see/' he added to Mr. Rogers, " weVe got to catch
the train down. Some people are waiting for us at
the Mount Pleasant House."
** The train down I " said Mr. Rogers. " Why,
man alive, it's nearly noon now, and the train goes
down shortly after one. It will take you two hours
to make the summit cone, with your — your wife in
her present condition, even if you don't lose the
'• I — I'm not his wife," the girl said, turning very
pale. •' We are engaged only. You see, we've got
to get down again to-day. Oh, John, we mus^ csitch
that train I "
" Come on, then, we'll do it I Why, we can make
two miles in less than an hour ! Two hours, in-
deed ! ^'
He started ahead, but Mr. Rogers grabbed his
" Hold on I " he said, " have you ever been on
this mountain before? "
** No," they both answered.
" Well, I have," the Scout Master continued.
** Ahead of you lies the most dangerous stretch of
path east of the Rocky Mountains. There's a cloud
coming down from Washington, and we may have
a storm at any minute. You've got no compass, no
provisions, no proper clothes. You'd lose that path
in five minutes in a cloud. In 1900, the thirtieth
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 189
day of June, two men, good strong walkers, too, died
of exposure between here and the summit. You stay
The girl went whiter still, and the man, also, grew
" But can't we go back the way we've come? " he
Mr. Rogers pointed back over the ridge. A cloud
was rolling up and over it from the pit of Oakes
" You'd lose that path, too," he said. '* You stick
with us, and if we can't make the summit before the
storm breaks, we'll ride her out in the Shelter Hut
Come, I'm captain, now. Forward, march I "
As the party emerged from the slight shelter of
Monroe, upon the great, bare stretch of rising plateau
which forms the col between Monroe and the summit
cone, they could with difficulty stand up at first
against the gale which hit them. The clouds were
apparently doing a kind of devil's dance around
Washington. Behind them other clouds had sucked
up the Notch, and then up Oakes Gulf, and were
pouring over the southern peaks behind like a gigan-
tic wave, beaten back into breakers by the wind.
Here on this plateau they were for the time being in
a kind of vortex between two cloud masses. They
hurried as fast as they could, Mr. Rogers and Art
I90 BOY SCOUTS
All the party were rather pale, especially the girl.
Rob was walking beside her, and helping her fight
the great wind. Their breath was short, in this alti-
tude, and hurrying was hard work. Moreover, the
wind came in mighty, sudden gusts, which almost
knocked the breath out of them and frequently made
them stop and brace.
They had not gone a quarter of a mile when the
clouds that came down Washington and those which
streamed in from Oakes Gulf closed together, and
the last of the party, who chanced to be Lou, sud-
denly found that he couldn't see anything, nor any-
His heart gave a great jump in his breast, and he
let out a terrified cry, which was almost lost in the
howl of the wind.
** Come on up ! '' he heard faintly. A second later,
and he saw the forms of Peanut and Frank emerge
from the mist ahead of him. The whole party now
gathered close in behind Mr. Rogers, keeping only
two feet apart, almost treading on each other's heels.
The Scout Master stopped a second.
" Everybody watch for the cairns," he shouted,
" and keep close together. Art and I have our com-
passes. Now, keep cool. We are only a short way
from the hut. We'll go in there till the worst is
Then he moved on, slowly, making sure of the
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 191
patho The wind was rising. The cloud that packed
them close as cotton batting condensed on their
clothes in fine drops. Suddenly Peanut, who was
blowing on his chilled hands, noticed that the drops
were beginning to freeze I The rocks of the path
were getting slippery, too. The girl had stumbled
once, and strained her ankle. She was paler than
" Oh, why did I wear these high heeled shoes 1 "
she half sobbed.
The words were no sooner out of her mouth (and
probably nobody heard them for the shrieking of the
wind along the stony ground), when a terrific gust
hit the party in the faces, its force knocking their
breath out, the hail-like, freezing cloud stinging their
faces, the damp cold of it numbing them. The girl
fell again, Rob holding her enough to break the fall.
Mr. Rogers ahead also fell, but intentionally. He
made a trumpet with his hands.
'* Lie down and get your breaths ! " he shouted.
" Then go on in the next lull as far as you can I "
They all got up again when the hurricane blast
was over, and, heads down into the teeth of the icy
wind, they pushed on, till the next gust made them
fall down for shelter.
" Two miles in an hour ! " Peanut was thinking.
" We aren't going a quarter of a mile an hour at this
rate. Will we ever get there ? "
192 BOY SCOUTS
But the rest were struggling on, and he struggled,
too, though his instinct was to turn back to the
wind, and beat it for the Crawford House, not real-
izing that over four miles of bare summit lay between
him and the sheltering woods.
Suddenly Art and Mr. Rogers ahead gave a cry.
The rest, looking, saw dimly in the swirling vapor
only a pile of stones and a cross.
" It's the spot where Curtis died," Mr. Rogers
shouted. *' We have only a quarter of a mile to go."
" Gee, I don't think it's very cheerful," said Pea-
nut. '* I'm near frozen now."
At the sight of the cross the girl gave way. She
began to sob, and Rob felt her weight suddenly sag
heavily on his arm.
" Here, quick ! " he yelled at her companion.
" Take her other arm."
The two of them got Rob's blanket unrolled and
wrapped about her, as best they could for the whip-
ping of the gale, and then half carried her along,
while she tried bravely to stop her hysterical sobbing.
The gale was now a perfect fury. It must have
been blowing seventy miles an hour, and the contact
of this north wind with the warmer cloud bank from
the south was making a perfect hurricane vortex of
half frozen vapor around these high summits. Every-
body was exhausted with fighting against it, and
chilled with cold. Mr. Rogers and Art. however.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 193
kept shouting back encouragement as each fresh
cairn was picked up, and as Mr. Rogers knew the
trail, and they had a map and compass, there were
only a few delays while he or Art prospected ahead
at blind spots. Alternately lying on their faces on
the frozen, wet rocks to get their breaths, and push-
ing on into the gale, they struggled ahead for what
seemed hours. Actually it was only half an hour.
Half an hour to go 440 yards I
Suddenly, out of the vapor, not twenty-five feet
ahead of them, loomed a small, gray shanty.
"Hoorah!'' cried Art and Mr. Rogers. "The
To THE Summit, Safe at Last
THEY dashed to it, and opened the door. The
hut was a tiny affair, with a lean-to roof. It
faced to the south, with a door so narrow a stout
person could barely squeeze in, and one tiny window.
It would hold about six people without undue crowd-
ing — and here were eight !
" Peanut's only half a one,'* said Art, cracking the
first joke since the storm began.
Into the hut, however, all eight of them crowded.
Inside, they found two or three blankets hung on a
string, and nothing else except a sign forbidding its
use in any save cases of emergency.
** I guess this is emergency, all right," said Rob,
as he helped to wrap the girl in a pair of dry blank-
ets, and put the third blanket about her companion.
The boys all wrapped up in their own. Rob then
got out his first aid kit, and gave the girl some aro-
matic spirits of ammonia, which revived her so that
her hysterical sobbing stopped.
" Here, take my pack," said Lou, "and use it for
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 195
The young man, who was nearly as pale as the
girl, and almost as exhausted, took the pack and
placed it in a corner. Then they laid the girl on
the floor, with her head upon it. Her fiance bent
over her. In cases like this you don't think of other
people being around. He kissed her, and all the
boys turned their faces away, and Peanut rubbed
the back of his hand suspiciously across his eyes.
" Guess he's glad we*ve got her safe in here,"
Peanut whispered—or rather he spoke in what was
merely a loud tone, which amounted to a whisper
with the gale howling so outside.
** I guess we're all glad we're in here," Frank re-
plied. " Look out there I "
They looked through the window into what at
first appeared to be the thick cotton batting of the
cloud, but closer inspection showed them that it was
snow. The cloud was condensing into snow !
** Whew I " Peanut whistled, while the tiny cabin
gave a shiver as if it were going to be lifted from its
*' Lord, what a gale 1 " said somebody else.
There was silence in the hut. Everybody was
listening to the wind. It was howling outside, seem-
ing to sing over the loose stones of the mountain
top, and wail through the chinks of the tiny cabin.
It blew incessantly, but every few seconds a stronger
gust would come, and as if a giant hand had sud-
196 BOY SCOUTS
denly hit it, the cabin would shiver to its founda-
tions. And outside was only a great white opacity
of snow and cloud !
" Well, well 1 " cried Mr. Rogers, suddenly, in a
cheerful voice, " here we are safe and snug — almost
too snug. It's lunch time. It's past lunch time.
Why shouldn't we eat ? We'll all feel better if we
"How are we going to cook anything ? " asked
Art. " There's no stove, and no chimney."
*' And no wood," said Rob.
" There's a little bit of wood outside the door. I
saw it when we came in," said Frank.
** And a lot of good it would do," Art answered.
" You couldn't even light it out there in that tor-
" We've got some cold things," said the Scout
Master. " Come on, out with that can of potted
ham, and the crackers we bought in Franconia to
eat bacon on, and some sweet chocolate. We'll do
The Scouts soon had sandwiches made with the
crackers and ham, and offered them first to the
couple, who, wrapped in t)lankets, were shivering
in the corner. The girl sat up, and she and the
man each ate two sandwiches hungrily, and sweet
chocolate beside. The girl's color began to come
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 197
" Do you feel better now, dear ? " the man asked her
She nodded her head. ' -
" Of course she does," said Mr. Rogers. *' FU tell
you something now that we are safe in the shelter.
There was no time nor chance to tell you out there.
I was too busy keeping the trail. It's this : — about
half the trouble on mountains like this comes from
funk, just as half the drownings occur from the same
cause. Not only do you lose your way much more
easily when you get terrified, but your vitality is
lowered, and the cold and exhaustion get you
quicker. If you keep cool, and your heart is beat-
ing steadily, normally, your eye finds the trail better
and your body resists the elements. That is why
nobody ought to tackle this Bridle Path who isn't
familiar with the mountain, unless he is accompanied
by some one who is familiar with it. And, unless
the weather is good, nobody should tackle it with-
out a food supply. In fact, I'd go so far as to say
they never should, for you can't depend on the
weather here for half a day at a time, or even an
" I realize that now," the man said, soberly, as he
shivered in his blanket. " They told us down at the
Crawford House that it was going to be a gale up
here to-day, but I'm afraid we didn't realize what a
gale on Washington meant. I don't know what
would have become of us if we hadn't met you I "
198 BOY SCOUTS
" Oh, John, don't I " cried the girl, as if she was
going to weep again.
" Well, I call it some adventure ! " Peanut cried.
** Gee, ril bet we'll all talk about it when we get
home ! Mr. Rogers had me scared, all right, way
back on Clinton, talking about storms and "
(here Peanut, who was about to say " people killed
in 'em," caught Rob's eye in warning, and added
instead) " and things. When the clouds hit
us, my heart came up into my mouth, and then went
down into my boots like a busted elevator, and I got
kind of cold all over. I can see how, if I'd been
alone, that would have knocked the legs out from
under me, all right. But there was Mr. Rogers
keeping the trail, so I just plugged along — and here
we are 1 Say, I'm going out in the snow ! Snoi»
in July I Hooray ! Come on. Art ! "
Peanut and Art opened the narrow slit of a dooj
wrapping their blankets close about them while Mv ,
Rogers shouted to them not to go out of sight of
the cabin, and stood outside in the icy cloud. Rob,
watching them through the window, saw them
scooping the thin layer of snow off a rock, and
moulding it into a snowball apiece, which they
threw at each other. He could see their mouths
opening, as if they were shouting, but the howling
of the gale drowned all sound. A few minutes later
they came in again, their faces and hands red.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 199
" Say, it's cold out there ! '' cried Art, ** but the
wind is going down a bit, I think, and it looks
lighter in the north."
'* It wouldn't surprise me if it cleared up in an
hour," said Mr. Rogers, " and it wouldn't surprise
me if we had to stay here all night"
"All night! "cried the girl. "Oh, John, we've
go^ to get down to-night. Oh, where will mother
think we are 1 They'll know we were in the storm,
too, and worry. Oh, dear ! "
She began to sob again, and the man endeavored
to comfort her.
" Come, come ! " said Mr. Rogers, rather sternly,
"you've got to make the best of a bad bargain. If
we can get to the Summit House later in the day,
you can telephone down to the base. Where are
your family ? "
"They were at Fabyans," the man answered.
" We were all going to Bethlehem this afternoon,
after the train got down the mountain. You see.
Miss Brown and I wanted to walk up the Crawford
Bridle Path, and catch the train down. We started
very early. A friend of ours walked it last summer
in three hours and a half."
" Some walking I " said Peanut
"Well, it's been done in two hours and thirty
minutes," the Scout Master replied. " But it was
done in that time by two men, college athletes, in
200 BOY SCOUTS
running drawers, and they were trained for mountain
climbing, into the bargain. And they had clear
weather to the top. Whoever told you that you
could make it ought to have a licking. Of course
your family will worry, but you — and they — will
have to stand it, as the price of your foolhardiness.
We are not going out of this hut while the storm
lasts, that's sure ! "
Something in Mr. Rogers* stern tone seemed to
brace the girl suddenly up. She stopped sobbing,
and said, "Very well, I suppose there's nothing to
do but wait."
Then she rose to her feet, and stamped around a bit
on her lame ankle, to keep it from getting stiffened
up too much, and to warm her blood, besides.
" rd like to know what the thermometer is," said
Frank. ** Must be below freezing, that's sure."
Rob was looking out of the window. " I'm not so
sure," he answered. ** It has stopped snowing now.
Say ! I believe it's getting lighter ! "
He opened the door and slipped out of the hut
into the cloud. A moment later he came back.
** The north is surely breaking 1 " he cried. "This
cloud bank hasn't got far over the range. The north
wind has fought it back. While I was watching, the
wind seemed to tear a kind of hole in the cloud, and
I saw a bit of the valley for a second. Come on out
and watch 1 "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 201
All the Scouts went outside, leaving the couple
alone within. As soon as they got free of the lee
side of the shelter, the gale hit them full force, the
cloud condensing on their blankets, which they had
hard work to keep wrapped about them. But the
sight well repaid the effort. The wind was playing
a mad game with the vapors on the whole north
side of the range. The great cloud mass below
them was thinner than it had been. They could see
for several hundred feet along the bare or snow-and-
ice capped rocks, which looked wild and desolate
beyond description. Farther away, where the rocks
were swallowed up in the mists, was a seething cal-
dron of clouds, driven in wreaths and spirals by the
wind. Suddenly a lane would open between them,
and the rocks would be exposed far down the moun-
tain. As suddenly the lane would close up again.
Then it would once more open, perhaps so wide and
far that a glimpse of green valley far below would
come for a second into view. Once the top of Mount
Dartmouth was visible for a full minute. Still later,
looking northeast, the great northern shoulder of
Mount Clay appeared.
** The clouds are not far down on the north side of
the range, that's a fact," said Mr. Rogers. " With
this north wind still blowing we may get it clear
enough to tackle the peak yet. But we don't want
to stand out here in the cold too long.''
202 BOY SCOUTS
Everybody went back to the shelter and waited
another half hour, which seemed more like two hours,
as Peanut said. Then somebody went out again to
reconnoitre, and returned with the information that
the cloud was lifting still more, and the northern
valley was visible. In another half hour even from
within the cabin they could see it was very percepti-
bly lighter. The hurricane had subsided to a steady
gale, which Rob estimated at forty miles an hour,
by tossing a bit of paper into the air and watching
the speed of its flight. It was warmer, too, though
still very chilling in the fireless cabin. In another
half hour you could walk some distance from the
cabin without losing sight of it, and Peanut and Art
went down to the spring behind for water. Then
Mr. Rogers took the Scouts back on the trail a
short distance and showed them a peep of the
two Lakes of the Clouds back on the col toward
" We were going to have lunch by those lakes,"
he said. " I wanted to show you several interesting
things about them. But they'll have to wait. It's a
regular Alpine garden down there, and it's coming
into flower now. If we get a good day to-morrow,
we can take it in, though."
**Look," cried Lou, suddenly, "there's Monroe
coming out of the cloud I "
" And there's Franklin behind it I " cried Frank.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 203
" And there's a misty bright spot where the sun
is I '* cried Peanut.
They hastened back toward the shelter to carry
the news to the couple within, and even as they
walked the clouds seemed to be rolled up by the
wind from the northern slopes, and blown off toward
the south. Before long, the whole Crawford Trail
behind them was practically free from cloud, and the
sun, very faint and hazy, was making a soft dazzle
on the powder of frost upon the rocks, for the snow
was little more than a heavy frost. To the north,
they could again see the valley, and the Dartmouth
range beyond it, and peaks still farther away, with
the sunlight on them.
But the entire summit cone of Washington was
still invisible. Standing in front of the shelter, they
looked along a plateau of granite and saw it end in
a solid mass of cloud.
" Oh, does that mean we can't go on ? " cried the
Mr. Rogers looked at her. " How do you feel ? "
" Lame and cold," she answered, " but I can do
'' Well, I feel pretty sure that this storm is over for
the day," the Scout Master replied. " But those
clouds will probably take all night to blow off Wash-
ington. I can keep the path, I feel pretty sure. It
204 BOY SCOUTS
is plain after you reach the actual cone. And, any-
how, we've got time enough to circle the cone till
we reach the railroad trestle, if worst comes to worst.
I guess you'd be better off at the top. Shoulder
packs, boys I '^
He looked at his watch. It was half-past three.
'* Now, less than two miles ! Keep moving briskly.
There's nothing to fear now. This storm is over,
I'm sure. A fire waits on top ! "
They started out at a good pace over the plateau
of Bigelow Lawn, Lou looking eagerly at the numer-
ous wild flowers in the rock crannies. The snow
was already melting, but it only made the trail the
more slippery, and this, coupled with the high wind,
made walking difficult. The girl and her companion
had no poles, so Rob and Art lent them theirs, and
Rob walked beside the girl to help her over bad
A third of a mile above the refuge they came upon
the Boott Spur Trail, leading off to the right, down
the long ridge of the spur, southward.
**Tuckerman's Ravine is in there, to the east of
Boott Spur," said the Scout Master. ** It seems to
be filled with clouds now."
The clouds, however, were off the spur, and
though now, as the summit path swung rather
sharply toward the north and began to go up
steeply, thev were entering into the vapor about the
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 205
cone of Washington, it was much less dense than
during the morning, and they could see the path
ahead without much difficulty. This path was
something like a trench in the rocks, apparently
made by picking up loose stones and piling them on
either side till the bottom was smooth enough to
walk on — or, rather, not too rough to walk on.
" This path's a cinch now," said Peanut, going into
Every one, however, as the trail grew steeper and
steeper, began to pant, and pause often for breath.
** What's the matter with my wind ? " asked Art.
** Is it the fog in my lungs ? "
"It's the altitude," Mr. Rogers laughed. "It
oughtn't to bother you boys much, though. You are
young. I'm the one who should be short breathed.
The older you get, the less ready your heart is to
respond to high altitudes."
** I don't mind it," sang back Peanut. ** Art feels
it because he's so fat ! "
They toiled on a few moments more in silence,
and then Lou suddenly exclaimed, " Look I a
junco ! "
Sure enough, out from under a rock was hopping
a junco. Art went toward it, and looking under the
rock found the nest.
" Well 1 " he said. " What do you think of that !
A junco nesting on the ground I "
2o6 BOY SCOUTS
" Where else would he nest here ? " Lou laughed.
" But j uncos are winter birds, I thought."
"Well, ain't this winter weather enough for you to-
day ? " said Art.
" The top of Washington is said to be about the
climate of Labrador," Mr. Rogers put in. " That's
why some j uncos always spend the summer here in-
stead of going farther north."
Lou was watching the pretty gray and white bird,
as it hopped excitedly over the rocks, almost invis-
ible sometimes against the bare gray granite, and in
the whitish mist. "That junco is protectively
colored on these rocks, all right," he said. " But
gee, he looks kind of lonely way up here ! "
" Lonely ! " exclaimed Frank. " I must say, this
whole place is the most desolate looking thing I ever
saw — nothing but big hunks of granite piled every
which way, and no sun and no sky and no earth be-
low you. 1 feel kind of as if we were the only peo-
ple in the whole world."
" So do I," said Peanut. " I like it, though ! Way
up in the clouds above everybody — not a sound but
the win "
Just at that moment, seemingly from the gray
cloud over their heads, rang out the call of a
Everybody stopped short, and exclaimed, " What's
that ? "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 207
'' We aren't up to the top yet," said Mr. Rogers.
" Somebody must be coming down."
'* Hello, yourself I " yelled Peanut, at the top of his
There was a sharp toot on the bugle, and as the
Scouts moved forward up the trail, they presently
saw dim figures above them, moving down. A mo-
ment later and the parties met. The newcomers
were five men, with packs and poles. One of them
had a bugle slung from his shoulder.
" Is Miss Alice Brown in your party ? " they called
as soon as they came in sight.
" Here I am," the girl said. ''■ What is it ? "
She had gone white again, and hung on Rob's
*' We're looking for you, that's all," said the five
men, as the parties met. *-' Is your companion
here ? "
** I'm here — we're both here, thanks to these boys
and their leader," the man replied. '* How did you
know we were coming up ? "
" How did w^e know ? " said the man with the
bugle. " Miss Brown's parents have been spending
$7,333,641,45 telephoning to the summit to find out
if you had arrived. As soon as we got word that the
lower ridges had cleared, we started down to look for
" Oh, poor mamma I " cried the girl.
2o8 BOY SCOUTS
" Well, she'll be waiting for you with her ear glued
to the other end of the wire when you get up—
never fear," the bugler said. Then he turned to Mr.
Rogers. ** Where did you ride her out ? The
shelter ? '^ he asked.
*' Yes," the Scout Master replied. ** That shelter
certainly justified itself to-day."
** Good ! " said the other. " Score one more for the
Appalachian Club. It was the worst July storm I
ever saw on the mountain. A hundred miles an hour
on top, and the thermometer down to twenty-two."
He moved on up the trail beside Mr. Rogers and
one or two of the Scouts.
** Greenhorns, of course ? " he queried, in a low
tone, nodding back toward the man and girl.
** Tried it without any food, or enough clothes, or
even a compass, I'll bet ? "
'* Exactly," the Scout Master answered. " They
were following us — expected to make the top in time
to catch the train down. Thought it was a pleasant
morning stroll, I suppose. They caught us under
Monroe, when the weather was first thickening up
nasty. The girl had wrenched her ankle, and it
seemed wiser to make the shelter than to try to get
back to the Mount Pleasant trail, and then way down
Pleasant to Bretton Woods, in the teeth of the gale."
*' Quite right," said the other. " Did you have
any trouble with the path?"
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 209
*'A good deal," Mr. Rogers answered. 'Art,
here, and I were picking it up, and we didn't let on,
but it was hard work, especially with that icy gale in
your face. It ought to have at least double the num-
ber of cairns between Monroe and the summit cone.
I really thought Vd lost it once, but we picked up the
next cairn before we got nervous."
"You're right," said the bugler. "You're quite
right. They've neglected this fine old path for the
paths on the north peaks. And it's more dangerous
than any of the north peaks, too. It ought to be re-
As he spoke, they came suddenly into what looked
like an old cellar hole in the rocks.
" The corral where the horses used to be hitched
after they'd come up the Bridle Path," said the man.
•* We're almost there, now."
The path became more nearly level, and very soon,
through the cloud, they could make out what looked
like the end of a wooden bridge. A moment later,
and they saw it was the end of a railroad trestle.
Another minute, and through the vapors they saw
emerge a house, a curious, long, low house, built of
stone, with a wooden roof. The house was shaped
just like a Noah's ark.
" The summit 1 " cried Mr. Rogers. " There's the
old Tip Top House ! '^
The Scouts gave a yell and jumped upon the
2IO BOY SCOUTS
platform at the top of the railroad. From this plat-
form a board walk led up to the door of the Tip Top
House. Across the track, steps led down to a barn
and a second house, the coach house at the top ot
the carriage road, which ascends the eastern slope
of the mountain.
The girl, as Rob and her fiance helped her up on
the platform, gave a weary sigh, almost a sob, and
then, hobbling on her lame ankle, she tried to run up
the walk to the Tip Top House. The boys followed
a little more slowly, looking first at the cellar hole
where the old Summit Hotel used to stand (it was
burned down in 1908) and where a new hotel will
have been built before this story is published.
It was nearly half-past five when they entered the
long, low room of the Tip Top House, and felt the
sudden warmth of a wood-fire roaring in a great
Dumping their packs in a corner, the boys made for
this stove, and held out their hands toward the warmth.
" Gee, it feels good," said Peanut.
** Feels good on my legs, all right," said Frank.
" I'm kind o' stiff and tired, I don't mind saying."
The girl had disappeared. She had already talked
to her mother at the foot of the mountain by the
telephone which runs down the railroad trestle, and
the wife of the proprietor of the Tip Top House had
taken her up-stairs to put her to bed.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 211
" I guess she'll sleep all right to-night," said the
man with the bugle, who had entered with the boys.
" And she won't tackle the Crawford Bridle Path
with high heeled shoes on very soon again, either I "
said Rob. " Are we going to sleep here, too, Mr.
Rogers ? I don't believe we'll want to sleep outside.
The thermometer by that window is still down al-
most to freezing."
The man with the bugle whispered to them, so the
proprietor wouldn't hear, " Don't stay here. They'll
stick you for supper and put you in rooms where
you can't get any air. The windows are made into
the roof, and don't open. I got a horrible cold from
sleeping here last year. Guess they never air the
bedding. We are all down at the coach house.
You may have to sleep on the floor, but the window
will be open, and you can cook your own grub on
** That's us ! " said Peanut. " Say, we want to get
some sweet chocolate first, though, and some post-
cards, don't we ? "
The Scouts all piled over to the long counter at
one side of the room, and stocked up with sweet
chocolate, and also wrote and mailed post-cards, to
be sent down on the train the next day. The sum-
mit of Washington in summer is a regular United
States post-office, and you can have mail delivered
there, if you want.
212 BOY SCOUTS
" Be sure you don't scare your families with lund
accounts of to-day ! '' Mr. Rogers cautioned them.
" Better save that till you're safe home."
" Why don't you write out a little account of your
adventure for Among the Clouds f " said the pro-
prietor. ** You can have copies sent to your homes,
if you leave before it comes out."
" What's Among the Clouds ? " the boys asked.
He picked up a small eight page newspaper.
" Printed at the base every day," he said. '* It was
printed on top here, till the hotel burned. All the
arrivals at the summit are put in daily."
•* You write the story, Rob," cried Art. '* When
will it be printed ? "
** Make it short, and I can telephone it down for
to-morrow," the man said.
** Fine ! We'll all take two copies," said Peanut.
"Save 'em for us. We'll be around here for two
or three days. Hooray, we're going to be in the
" You might all register over there while the story
is being written," said the proprietor.
Rob took a pencil and piece of paper and sat
down by the stove to write, while the rest walked
over to the register. There were very few entries
for that day, as you can guess. The top of the page
(the day before) showed, however, the names of two
automobile parties, who had written, in large letters
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 213
under their names, the make of the cars they had
come up the mountain in.
''Gee, how silly," said Art.
"Wait," said Peanut, his eyes twinkling, "till /
He wrote his name last, and under it he printed,
in big, heavy letters :
Smith and Jeromes Shoes.
" There," he cried, " that*s the motor / came up
in I Good ad. for old Smith and Jerome, eh ?
Might as well advertise our Southmead store-
The man with the bugle, who was standing be-
hind the boys, peeked over at the register, and roared
" You're all right, kid ! " he said. " I wish the
motor parties could see it It would serve 'em right
for boasting about owning a car. Besides, that's the
lazy loafer's way of climbing a mountain. If I were
boss, I'd dynamite the carriage road and the rail-
road, and then nobody could get here but folks who
knew how to walk."
" You're like the man on Moosilauke," said Lou.
" I'm like all true mountaineers," he answered.
" And Scouts," said Peanut.
Rob had now finished a brief account of theif
214 BOY SCOUTS
adventure on the Crawford Bridle Path, and the
proprietor went up-stairs to find out the name of
the man they had rescued. The girl's name they
"Don't say we rescued them, Rob/' Mr. Rogers
cautioned. ** Say they overtook us at Monroe, and
we all went on together, because we had blankets
"That's what I have said^' laughed Rob. "But
it doesn't alter the facts."
The proprietor came back with the name, and
Rob added to the man with the bugle, " And the
names of your party, too ? "
"Say five trampers," the other answered. "I'll
tell you our names later. We aren't essential to the
"But I would like to know why you have the
bugle," said Rob.
" I'll tell you that later, also," the man laughed.
Rob turned his little account over to the proprietor,
and the party left the warm house, and went out
again into the cloud and the chilling wind.
It was almost like stepping out upon the deck of
a ship in a heavy fog. They could see the board
walk ahead, as far as the railroad platform — and
that was all. The rest of the world was blotted out
The wind was wailing in the telephone wires and
through the beams of the railroad trestle, just as it
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 215
wails through the rigging of a ship. It was getting
dark, too. The boys shivered, and nobody sug-
gested any exploring.
** Me for supper, and bunk,*' said Peanut.
They crossed the railroad with its cog rail between
the two wheel rails, and descended a long flight of
stepSo At the bottom was the end of the carriage
road, which they could see disappearing into the
cloud to the east, a barn on the left, chained down
to the rocks, and on the right a square, two-story
building, the carriage house.
Inside, a lamp was already lighted, and the four
men who had come down the mountain with the
bugler, as well as the evident proprietor of the house,
were sitting about the stove, which was crammed
with wood and roaring hotly
"Well?'* said the four, as the Scouts and the
bugler entered. "Any more people to go down
and rescue ? "
The bugler shook his head. " Haven't heard of
any," he said. "There's no word of any one else
trying the Crawford Path to-day. Anybody that
tackled Tuckerman's will certainly have had sense
enough to stay in the camp. That party who came
over the Gulf Side this morning with us decided to
go down the carriage road, they tell me. I guess
we've got this place to ourselves."
" Oh, it's a good, soft floor," one of the men
2i6 BOY SCOUTS
laughed. " You boys don't mind a good, soft floor,
do you ? "
" Not a bit," said Peanut. " I always sleep on the
floor — prefer it, in fact."
The others laughed, and the Scouts got ofT their
packs, spread their blankets out to dry, and took ofi
Then everybody began to prepare for supper.
The proprietor of the coach house moved out a
table, and put some boards across it to make it
larger. The Scouts compared provisions with the
five trampers, and found that the strangers had
coffee which the boys were rather shy on, and con-
densed milk, which the boys didn't have at all, while
the boys had powdered eggs and dehydrated vege-
tables, which the strangers didn't have. There wasn't
time enough, however, to soak the vegetables.
** You make us coffee, and we'll make you an
omelet," said Art. "That's a fair swap. I'll cook
griddle cakes for the bunch.'^
" More than fair," said the bugler. " It's taking a
whole meal from you chaps, while we have more than
enough coffee. Here, use some of our minced ham
in that omelet."
"Just the thing!" said Art "We ate most of
ours in the shelter." He began at once to mix the
In a short time the party of eleven (the proprietor
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 217
cooked his supper later) sat down to the rough table,
with bouillon cube soup first, and then steaming
coffee, omelet made with minced ham, griddle cakes
flavored with butter and sugar furnished by the
proprietor, and sweet chocolate for dessert.
For a time nobody said much. The men and boys
were all hungry, and they were busy putting away
the delicious hot food.
" Nothing could keep me awake to-night," said
Peanut, presentiy. '* May I have another cup of
coffee ? "
" Who else wants more ? '* asked the bugler, who
" Me," said Art.
" And me," said the bugler.
" And me," said Mr. Rogers.
"And me," said one of the men.
" And I," said Rob, whereupon the rest all burst
out laughing, and Rob looked surprised, for he
hadn't intended to rebuke them by using correct
" You see the advantages of a college education,
gentlemen," cried Mr. Rogers, while poor Rob turned
It was a merry meal. After it was over, the five
men pulled pipes out of their pockets, and puffed
contentedly, while the boys sat about the stove, and
Peanut said :
2i8 BOY SCOUTS
*' Now, Mr. Bugler, tell us why you have the
Much to the boys* surprise, the man addressed
" Gee, you boys will laugh at me ! " he said, like
a boy himself. " But I'll tell you. I toted this bugle
up from Randolph yesterday. We came in around
through the Great Gulf, and up the Six Husbands*
** Some trail, too I " the other four put in.
** and back over Adams to the Madison Hut.
We spent last night there, and came over the Gulf
Side this morning. We'd reached Clay before the
bad weather hit us. The summit cone held it back.
And we got to the carriage road before it got so
thick that you couldn't see at all. Lord, how the
wind blew coming around Clay 1 Honestly, I didn't
know if we could make it."
** But the bugle?" said Peanut.
" Oh, yes, the bugle. I was forgetting the bugle,
"You were — maybe," said Peanut
The rest laughed.
"Well, now I'll tell you about the bugle," the
speaker went on. '* When I was in college a chap
roomed next to me who could punt a football farther
than anybody I ever knew "
** How far ? " asked Art.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 219
" Well, I've seen him cover seventy yards," was
•* Some punt 1 " cried Peanut. ** Did that make
you buy a bugle ? "
** Say, who's telling the story ? " the man said.
** No, it didn't make me buy a bugle, but this chap
who could punt so far bought a cornet. What do
you suppose he bought a cornet for ? "
** I can't imagine why anybody should buy a cor-
net," put in one of the other men.
" Shut up, Tom," said the bugler. " Well, he
bought a cornet so he could learn to play it, and
after he had learned to play it (keeping everybody
in the dormitory from studying while he learned,
too I), he spent a summer vacation in the Rocky
Mountains, and carried that cornet up to the highest
peaks that he could climb, and played it. He learned
to play it just for that — ^just for the joy of hearing
horn music float out into the great spaces of the sky.
Also, he made echoes with it against the cliffs while
he was climbing up. After that summer he never
played it again.'*
" Why didn't he see how far he could punt a
football from the top of Pike's Peak?" Peanut
*• He used up all his breath playing the cornet,
and couldn't blow up the ball," said the man.
Lou wasn't taking this story as a joke, however
220 BOY SCOUTS
" And you brought your bugle up here, to play it
from the top of Washington ? ^^ he asked. " I think
that's fine. Gee, I wish you'd go out and play taps
before we go to bed ! "
The man looked at Lou keenly. " So you under-
stand ! " he said. " These Philistines with me don't,
and your young friend Peanut there doesn't. They
have no music in their souls, have they ? You and
I will go outside presently, and play taps to the cir-
" Some language," snickered Peanut. " What
we'll need isn't taps, though, but reveille to-mor-
" Cheer up, you'll get that all right," the man
They all sat for a while discussing the day's ad-
venture, and planning for the next day, if it was
clear. The five men were going down over the Davis
Path, and as that path leads along Boott Spur, the
Scouts decided to go with them, leaving them at the
end of the spur, the Scouts to descend for the night
into Tuckerman's Ravine, while the others kept on
southwest, over the Giant's Stairs, to the lower end
of Crawford Notch.
" But we want to visit the Lakes of the Clouds
first," said the Scout Master. ** We scarcely got a
peep at 'em to-day."
"Suits us," said the man called Tom. "We'll
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 221
have time, if we start early. I'd like to see the
Alpine garden myself."
'* And now for taps," cried the bugler.
He and Lou got up, and went out-of-doors. The
rest followed, but the first pair slipped away quickly
into the cloud, going down the carriage road till the
lamp of the coach house was invisible.
The universe was deathly still save for the contin-
ual moaning of the wind. There was nothing at all
visible, either stars above, or valley lamps below
— nothing but a damp, chilly white darkness, Lou
was silent, awed. The man set his bugle to his lips,
and blew — blew the sweet, sad, solemn notes of
As they rose above the moaning of the wind and
seemed to float off into space, Lou's heart tingled in
his breast. As the last note died sweedy away, there
were tears in his eyes — he couldn't say why. But
something about taps always made him sad, and
now, in this strange setting up in the clouds, the
tears actually came. The man saw, and laid a hand
in silence on his shoulder.
"You understand," he said, presently, as they
moved back up the road, and that was all he said.
Back in the coach house, the proprietor showed
them all the available cots up-stairs. There were two
shy, so Art and Peanut insisted on sleeping down-
stairs by the stove. They wabbed up an extra
222 BOY SCOUTS
blanket or two for a bed, made their sweaters into
pillows, and almost before the lamp was blown out,
they were as fast asleep as if they had been lying on
Down Tuckerman's Ravine
BUT while it is comparatively easy to go to sleep
on the floor, it is not so easy to stay asleep on
it. Both Art and Peanut awoke more than once
during the night, and shifted to the other shoulder.
Finally, toward morning, Art got up and tiptoed to
the window, to look out. He came back and shook
" Whaz-a-matter?" said Peanut, sleepily.
'* Get up, and I'll show you," Art whispered.
Peanut roused himself, and joined Art at the
Outside the stars were shining ! But that was not
all. Art pointed down the carriage road, and far be-
low, on the black shadow of the mountain Peanut
saw what looked like bobbing stars fallen to the
ground. These stars were evidently drawing nearer.
** Well, what do you make of that ! " he exclaimed.
" Bless me if I know. It's evidently somebody
coming up the road with lanterns."
The two boys slipped noiselessly into their shoes,
and struck a match to look at their watches.
** Quarter to four," said Art. " The sun will rise
224 BOY SCOUTS
in half an hour. Gee, I'd like to get that bugle and
wake *em up I "
"The owner's using it himself, I should say,"
whispered Peanut, as the sound of a snore came from
the room above. They looked about, but the man
had evidently taken his bugle up-stairs with him, so
they slipped out through the door to investigate the
bobbing lanterns coming up the mountain.
It was cold outside, and still dark, but they could
make out dimly the track of the carriage road, and
walked down it. The lanterns were drawing nearer,
and now they could hear voices. A moment later,
and they met the lantern bearers, a party of nearly
a dozen men and women.
" Hello, boys ! Where did you drop from ? " cried
the man in the lead, suddenly spying Art and Peanut.
*' Where did you come up from ? '' Peanut replied.
** We walked up from the Glen cottage to see the
sunrise," the other replied.
" Oh, dear, I should say we did ! " sighed a woman
in the party. " If you ever catch me climbing a
mountain again in the middle of the night, send me
to Matteawan at once."
" Cheer up, Lizzie, we'll have some sandwiches
pretty soon," somebody told her.
** Sandwiches for breakfast ! Worse and worse ! "
she sighed. " I don't believe there's going to be
any sunrise, either. I don't see any signs of it."
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 225
" Let's shake this bunch," Art whispered to Pea-
nut. " They give me a pain."
The boys ran back, ahead, to the coach house,
entered once more, and bolted the door behind them,
lest the new party try to get in.
" Golly, we've got to get that bugle, and have the
laugh on whatever his name is — he didn't tell us, did
he ? I'm going up after it," said Peanut.
He kicked off his shoes, and started on tiptoe up
the stairs. Art heard the floor creak overhead, and
then he heard a smothered laugh.
A moment later the man appeared with the bugle
in one hand, and Peanut's ear in the other. Peanut
was still attached to the ear, and he was trying hard
not to laugh out loud.
** Caught you red-handed," said the man. " Hello,
there, Art I You up too ? How's the weather ? "
" Fine," said Art. ** Come on out and wake 'em
The man looked at his watch, then at the sky
through the window. The east was already light.
The stars were paling. You could see out over the
bare rock heaps of the mountain top.
'* Come on ! " he said.
The three went outdoors. The party with
lanterns had already passed the coach house and
climbed the steps to the summit. They could be
heard up there, talking. The man and the boys
226 BOY SCOUTS
went around to the south of the coach house, out
of sight of the summit, and setting his bugle to
his lips, tipping it upward toward the now rosy
east, the man pealed out the gay, stirring notes of
*' Oh, do it again ! " cried Peanut. *' Gee, I like it
up here I I know now why you brought the bugle."
The man smiled, and blew reveille again.
Before the last notes had died away, they heard
stampings in the house behind them, and cries of
"Can it!" "Say, let a feller sleep, won't you ? "
" Aw, cut out the music ! "
" Get up, you stifTs, and see the sun rise ! " shouted
Peanut. ** Going to be a grand day ! "
Five minutes later the Scouts and the men were all
out of the coach house, on the rocks beside Art and
'* It is a good day, that's a fact," said Mr. Rogers.
" Where's the best place to see the sun rise ? "
** Fd suggest the top of the mountain," said the
It was light now. The east was rosy, and as they
looked down southward over the piles of bare,
tumbled rock toward Tuckerman's Ravine, they could
see masses of white cloud, like cotton batting. Up
the steps they all hurried, and found the lantern
party eating sandwiches in the shelter of the Tip Top
House, out of the wind.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 227
*' They'd rather eat than see the sun rise," sniffed
" Maybe you would, if you'd spent the night walk-
ing up the carriage road," laughed somebody.
Peanut led the way to the highest rock he could
find, and they looked out upon the now fast lighten-
Northward, far out beyond the great shoulders of
the mountain, they could see glimpses of the lower
hills and valleys. But all nearer the mountain was
hidden by the low white cloud beneath their feet. To
the northeast and east was nothing but cloud, about
a thousand feet below them. The same was true to
the south. Southwestward, over the long shoulders
of the Crawford Bridle Path, where they had climbed
the day before, lay the same great blanket of white
*' Say, this peak of Washington looks just like a
great rock island in the sea," cried Lou.
Now the world was almost bright as day. The
east was rosy, the upper sky blue, the stars gone.
The great white ocean of cloud below them heaved
and eddied under the gusts of northwest wind which
swept down from the summit, wherever a wave crest
rose above the level. The sun, a great red ball, ap-
peared in the east, and the bugler set his bugle to his
lips and blew a long blast of welcome.
It was a wonderful, a beautiful spectacle. As they
228 BOY SCOUTS
watched, the clouds below them heaved and stirred,
and seemed to thin out here and there, and suddenly
to the northeast a second rock island, shaped like a
pyramid, appeared to rise out of the pink and white
" Hello, there's Jefferson ! " cried one of the men.
Then a second island, also a peak of bare rock,
rose beyond Jefferson.
'* And there's Adams," said Mr. Rogers.
" And there's Madison," said the bugler, as a third
peak rose up from the cloud sea, beyond Adams.
" What is between those peaks and the shoulder of
Washington I see running northeast ? " asked Frank.
" The Great Gulf," one of the men replied. " There
must have been a heavy dew in the Gulf last night.
It's packed full of clouds."
'* Probably got soaked with the rain yesterday,
too," somebody else said. *' The clouds will get
out of it before long, though They are coming up
Even as he spoke, one rose like a long, white fin-
ger over the head wall of the Gulf, stretched out to
the gray water-tanks of the railroad and almost be-
fore any one could speak, it blew cold into the faces
of the party on the summit.
" Hello, cloud ! " said Peanut, making a swipe
with his hand at the white mist. " Does that mean
bad weather again ? " he added.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 229
"No, they're just rising from the gulfs. They'll
blow ofT before we start, I fancy," one of the tramp-
ers said. " It's the clouds which come down, or
come from the plains, which make the trouble.
Come on, breakfast now 1 If we are going to make
a side trip to the Lakes of the Clouds with you
Scouts, we've got to get an early start, for our path
down over the Giant's Stairs is fifteen or twenty
miles long, and hard to find, in the bargain.'*
As they went, however, a look away from the sun
showed the shadow of Washington cast over the
clouds westward as far as the eye could see. Peanut
waved his arm. " The shadow of that gesture was
on the side of Lafayette ! " he cried.
Breakfast was prepared as quickly as possible, the
boys furnishing powdered eggs, the men bacon and
coffee. Then, after they had paid the keeper of the
coach house for their night's lodging, the combined
parties shouldered packs, went back up the steps in
a thin white cloud, stocked up with sweet chocolate
at the Tip Top House, and still in the cloud set ofiE
southwest down the summit cone, by the Crawford
The descent was rapid. The cone is a thousand
feet high, but they were soon on Bigelow Lawn, and
though the white mists were still coming up over
the ridge from the gulfs below, they were thin here^
and the sunlight flashed in, and below them they
230 BOY SCOUTS
could see the green intervale of Bretton Woods,
shining in full morning light
"Rather more cheerful than yesterday," said
" Ra-/>^^r," cried Peanut.
At the junction of the Boott Spur Trail, every-
body unloaded all baggage, and the packs and
blankets were piled under a boulder. Then they
hurried on down the Bridle Path, past the refuge
hut which had been such a friend the day before,
and soon reached the larger of the two Lakes of the
Clouds, which lies just north of the Crawford Trail,
on the very edge of the Monroe- Washington col,
exactly two miles below the summit. The larger
lake is perhaps half an acre in extent, the smaller
hardly a third of that size.
** These lakes are the highest east of the Rocky
Mountains," said Mr. Rogers. "They are 5,053
feet above sea level."
"And a deer has been drinking in this one," said
Art, pointing to a hoof mark in the soft, deep moss
at the margin.
" Sure enough ! " one of the men said. " He
must have come up from timber line, probably over
from Oakes Gulf."
"You remember, boys," Mr. Rogers said, *'that
I told you I was going to show you the head waters
of a river ? Well, we saw one at the Crawford House
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 231
— the head of the Saco. This lake is one of the head
waters of the Ammonoosuc, which is the biggest
northern tributary of the Connecticut."
**It's a bit cleaner than the Connecticut is at
Hartford or Springfield," laughed Rob. •* My, it's
like pure glass I Look, you can see every stick and
piece of mica on the bottom."
** And it's cold, too ! " cried Art, as he dipped his
*' Now, let*s look at the Alpine wild flowers as we
go back," said the bugler. " They are what inter-
est me most."
The party turned toward the path again, and they
became aware that almost every crevice between the
loose stones was full of rich moss of many kinds, and
this moss had made bits of peaty soil in which the
wild flowers grew. There were even a few dwarfed
spruces, three or four feet high, all around the border
of the lake.
The wild flowers were now in full bloom.
*' It^s spring up here, you know, in early July,"
said the bugler. " Look at all those white sandwort
blossoms, like a snow-storm. What pretty little
things they are, like tiny white cups."
** What's the yellow one?" asked Lou, who was
always interested in plants.
' That's the geum," the man replied. " Look at
the root leaves — they are just like kidneys."
232 BOY SCOUTS
** It's everywhere," said Lou. " Look, it even
grows in cracks half-way up the rocks."
The man also pointed out the tiny stars of the
Houstonia, which interested the boys, because their
Massachusetts home was near the Housatonic River.
But the botanist assured them that there was no con-
nection between the names, the flower being named
for a botanist named Houston, while the river's name
There were several other kinds of flowers here,
too, as well as grasses, and conspicuous among them
was the Indian poke, sticking up its tall stalk three
feet in the boggy hollows between rocks, its roots in
the wet tundra moss, with yellowish-green blossoms
at the top.
'' Well, who'd ever guess so many things could
live way up here, on the rocks I " Lou exclaimed.
** But I like the little sandwort best. That's the one
which gets nearest the top of Washington, isn't it?"
" It's the only one which gets there, except the
grass, I believe," the bugler answered.
Everybody picked a few sandwort cups, and
stuck them in his hat band or buttonhole, and thus
arrayed they reached once more the junction of
the Boott Spur Trail, shouldered packs, and set off
southward, down the long, rocky shoulder of the
spur, which pushes out from the base of the summit
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 233
The sun was now high. The clouds had stopped
coming up over the head walls of the ravines. They
could see for miles, even to the blue ramparts of
Lafayette and Moosilauke in the west and southwest.
Directly south they looked over a billowing sea of
mountains and green, forest-covered valleys, a
wilderness in which there was no sign of human
beings. To their left was the deep hole of Tucker-
man's Ravine, gouged out of the solid rock. Only
the very summit of Washington behind them still
wore a hood of white vapor.
It was only three-quarters of a mile to the nose of
the spur, and they were soon there. Here the two
parties were to divide, the boys going down to the
left into the yawning hole of Tuckerman's Ravine,
which they could now see plainly, directly below
them, the other trampers turning to the southwest,
for their long descent over the Davis Path and the
Montalban range. At the nose of the spur was a big
cairn, and out of it the bugler fished an Appalachian
Mountain Club cylinder, opened it, and disclosed
the register, upon which they all wrote their names.
Then they all shook hands, the bugler blew a long
blast on his bugle, and the Scouts watched their
friends of the night go striding off down the Davis
" Now, where do we go ? *^ asked Arto
Mr. Rogers pointed down into Tuckerman*s
234 BOY SCOUTS
Ravine, the wooded floor of which, sheltering the
dark mirror of Hermit Lake, lay over fifteen hundred
feet below them.
** Golly, Where's your parachute ? " said Peanut.
" We don't need a parachute," Mr. Rogers laughed.
•* Here's the path."
The boys looked over into the pit. Across the
ravine rose another precipitous wall, with a lump at
the end called the Lion's Head. The ravine itself
was like a long, narrow horseshoe cut into the rocky
side of Mount Washington — a horseshoe more than
a thousand feet deep. They were on one side of the
*' Well, here goes I " cried Peanut, and he began
At first the trail went down over a series of levels,
or steps, close to the edge of the precipice. At one
point this precipice seemed actually to hang out over
the gulf below, and it seemed as if they could throw
a stone into Hermit Lake.
Peanut tried it, in fact, but the stone sailed out,
descended, and disappeared, as if under the wall.
" These are the hanging cliffs," said Mr. Rogers.
*' We'll go down faster soon."
Presently the path did swing back to the left, and
began to drop right down the cliff side. The cliff
wall wasn't quite so steep as it had looked from
above, and the path was perfectly possible for travel ;
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 235
but it was the steepest thing they had tackled yet,
nonetheless, and it kept them so busy dropping down
the thousand feet or more to the ravine floor that they
could barely take time to glance at the great, white
mass of snow packed into the semi-shadow under
the head wall
** Say, we are making some time, though 1 " Pea-
nut panted, as he dropped his own length from one
rock to the next.
" Faster 'n you'd make coming back," laughed Lou.
The path soon dropped them into scrub spruce,
which had climbed up the ravine side to meet them,
and this stiff spruce grew taller and taller as they
descended, till in less than fifteen minutes they were
once more — for the first time since leaving the side
of Clinton — in the woods. At the bottom of the cliff
the path leveled out, crossed a brook twice, and
brought them suddenly into another trail, leading up
into the head of the ravine. Almost opposite was a
sign pointing down another path to the Appalachian
Mountain Club camp.
'* We'll leave our stuff there at the camp," said Mr,
Rogers, " and go see the snow arch before lunch, eh ?"
" You bet ! " the boys cried.
It was only a few minutes after ten. They had
started so early from the summit of Washington that
they still had the better part of the day before them.
A few steps brought them to the camp, which was a
236 BOY SCOUTS
log and bark lean-to, with the back and sides en-
closed, built facing the six or eight foot straight side
of a huge boulder. This boulder side was black with
the smoke of many fires. It was no more than four
feet away from the front of the lean-to, so that a big
hre, built against it, would throw back a lot of warmth
right into the shelter. All about the hut were beau-
tiful thick evergreens.
" That's a fine idea ! " Art exclaimed. '* You not
only have your fire handy, and sheltered completely
from the wind, but you get the full heat of it. Say,
we must build a camp just like this when we get
back ! "
** Somebody was here last night," said Rob, in-
specting the ashes in the stone fire pit. ** Look, they
are still wet. Soused their fire, all right."
" And left a bed of boughs — for two," added Pea-
nut, peeping into the shelter.
'* Let's leave our stuff, so we'll have first call on
the cabin to-night," somebody else put in. " Will it
be safe, though ? "
** Sure," the Scout Master said — ** safe from peo-
ple, anyhow. The folks who tramp up here are hon-
est, I guess. But I don't trust the hedgehogs too
far. The last time I slept in Tuckerman's, five or
six years ago, two of us camped out on the shore of
Hermit Lake, and the hedgehogs ate holes in our
rubber ponchos while we slept."
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 237
" Say, you must have slept hard — and done some
dreaming!" laughed Peanut.
" Fact," said Mr. Rogers ; " cross my heart, hope
to die I"
•*Well, then let's hang our blankets over this
string," said Art, indicating a stout cord strung near
the roof from the two sides of the shelter.
They hung their blankets over the cord, stacked
their packs in a corner, and set off up the trail toward
the head wall of the ravine, nearly a mile away.
A few steps brought them to a sight of Hermit
Lake, a pretty little sheet of water which looked al-
most black, it was so shallow and clear, with dark
leaf-mould forming the bottom. It was entirely sur-
rounded by the dark spires of the mountain spruces,
and held their reflections like a mirror, and behind
them the reflections of the great rocky walls of the
ravine sides, and then the blue of the sky.
The path now began to ascend the inclined floor
of the ravine, and the full grandeur of the spectacle
burst upon the boys. Even Peanut was silent. It
was the most impressive spot they had ever been in.
To their left the cliffs shot up a thousand feet to
Boott Spur, to their right they went up almost as
high to the Lion's Head. And directly in front of
them, curved in a semicircle, like the wall of a sta-
dium, and carved out of the solid rock of the moun-
tain, was the great head wall, in the half shadow at
238 BOY SCOUTS
its base a huge snow-bank glimmering white, on the
tenth day of July. Above the snow-bank the rocks
glistened and sparkled with hundreds of tiny water
streams. All about, at the feet of the clifls, and even
down the floor of the ravine to the boys, lay piled up
in wild confusion great heaps of rock masses, the
debris hurled down from the precipitous walls by
centuries of frost and storm.
" It looks like a gigantic natural colosseum," said
Lou. " The head wall is curved just like the pictures
of the Colosseum in our Roman history."
" Right-o," cried Peanut. *' Say, what a place to
stage a gladiator fight, eh? Sit your audience all
up on the debris at the bottoms of the cliffs."
** And have your gladiators come out from under
the snow arch," laughed Mr. Rogers.
"Sure," said Peanut.
They now came to the snow arch, which is formed
every June under the head wall, and sometimes lasts
as late as August. The winter storms, from the
northwest, blow the snow over Bigelow Lawn above,
and pack it down into Tuckerman's Ravine, in a
huge drift two hundred feet deep. This drift grad-
ually melts down, packs into something pretty close
to ice, and the water trickling from the cliff behind
joins into a brook beneath it and hollows out an
The Scouts now stood before the drift. It was per-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 239
haps eight or ten feet deep at the front now, and a good
deal deeper at the back. It was something Hke three
hundred feet wide, they reckoned, and extended out
from the cliff from sixty to a hundred feet. The arch
was about in the centre, and the brook was flowing
out from beneath it.
** Look ! " cried Art, " a few rods down-stream the
alders are all in leaf, nearer they are just coming
out, and here by the edge they are hardly budded 1 '^
** That's right," said Lou. " I suppose as the ice
melts back, spring comes to 'em.'*
Rob put his hand in the brook. " Gee, I don't
blame 'em," he said ; " it's free ice water, all right."
" Come on into the ice cave," Peanut exclaimed,
Mr. Rogers grabbed him. " No, you don't ! " he
cried. *' People used to do that, till one day some
years ago it caved in, and killed a boy under it.
You'll just look in."
Peanut poked at the edge of the roof with his
staff. It looked like snow, but it was hard as ice.
" Gee, that won't cave in ! " said he.
"Just the same, we're taking no chances," said
the Scout Master.
So the Scouts tried to content themselves with
peeking into the cold, crystal cave, out of which
came the tinkle of dripping water from the dangling
icicles on the roof, and a breath of damp, chilling
240 BOY SCOUTS
air. It was like standing at the door of a huge
Then they climbed up the path a few steps, on the
right of the drift, and made snowballs with the
brittle, mushy moraine-stufi on the surface, which
was quite dirty, with moss and rock dust blown over
from the top of Washington.
" Snowballs in July ! " cried Peanut, letting one
fly at Art, who had walked out on the drift.
Art retaliated by washing Peanut's face.
It was getting close to noon now, and the party
started back to camp. Hermit Lake was first in-
spected as a possible swimming pool, but given up
because of the boggy nature of the shores. Instead,
everybody took one chill plunge in the ice water of
the little river which came down from the snow arch,
and then they rubbed themselves to a pink glow-,
and started for the camp. Before they reached
camp, Art sniffed, and said, ** Smoke ! Somebody's
got a fire."
A second later, they heard voices, and came upon
two men, building a fire against the boulder in front
of the shelter.
** Hello, boys. This your stuff ? " one of the men
said. He was a tall, thin man, with colored goggles
and a pointed beard. The other man was short and
" Sure is," Peanut answered.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 241
'* Well, we're going on after lunch. Won't bother
you to-night," the men said. ** Don't mind our
being here for lunch, do you ? "
** Depends on what you've got to eat," said Pea-
nut, with a laugh.
*• Not much," the tall man answered. " Enough
for two men, but not enough for a huge person like
Peanut grinned, as the laugh was on him, and the
boys set about getting their lunch ready, also.
The two newcomers had come up from Jackson
that morning, they said, and were bound for the top
of Washington via the head wall of Huntington
Ravine. They spoke as if the head wall of Hunting-
ton were something not lightly to be tackled, and of
course the boys were curious at once.
** Where's Huntington ? " asked Art. '* Mr. Rog-
ers, you've never told us about that."
** I never was there myself," said Mr. Rogers. ** I
can't have been everywhere, you know."
*' Well, neither have I been there," said the tall,
thin man, " but my friend here has, once, and he
alleges that it's the best climb in the White Moun-
" Hooray, let us go, too ! " cried Peanut.
Mr. Rogers smiled. " We'll go along with these
gentlemen, if they don't mind, and have a look at
it," he said, ** but I guess we'll leave the climbing to
242 BOY SCOUTS
them. I don't believe I want to lug any of you boys
home on a stretcher. '^
" Aw, stretcher nothin^ 1 " said Peanut. *' I guess
if other folks climb there, we can ! "
The short, stout man's eyes twinkled. " Maybe
when you see it you won't be so keen," he said.
" Come along with us and have a look."
Up the Huntington Head Wall
LUNCHEON over, the two men packed their
knapsacks again, while Art put some dehy-
drated spinach in a pot to soak for supper. He
covered the pot carefully, and stood it in the ashes
of the fire, where it would get the heat from the
rock, even though the fire was put out. Then falling
into line behind the two men, the boys and Mr.
Rogers started off, apparently going backward away
from the mountain down the path toward Crystal
Cascades and the Glen road,
"We just came up here,'* the tall man said,
" Came out of our way a bit to see the shelter camp,
as I want to build one like it near my home."
" So do we," said the Scouts.
The two men walked very fast, so that the boys
had hard work to keep up with them. They were
evidently trained mountain climbers. After half a
mile of descent, they swung to the left, by the Ray-
mond Path, and after a quarter of a mile of travel
toward the northeast, they swung still again to the
left, up the Huntington Ravine Trail, and headed
244 BOY SCOUTS
back almost directly at right angles, toward the
northwest, where the cone of Washington was,
though it could not be seen. The path now ascended
again, rather rapidly, and the Scouts puffed along
behind the tall man and his stout companion, who
walked just about as fast up-hill as they did down.
" Say ! " called Peanut, *' is there a fire in the
ravine ? "
The tall man laughed. *' Sure/' he said. ** Four
A mile or more of climbing brought them into the
ravine. It was not so large as Tuckerman's, and it
had no lake embosomed in its rocky depths, but in
some ways it was an even wilder and more impress-
ive spot. On the right, to the east, the clifF wall
rose up much steeper than in Tuckerman's, to
Nelson's Crag. On the west, also, the wall was al-
most perpendicular, while the jagged and uneven
head wall, which did not form the beautiful amphi-
theatre curve of Tuckerman's head wall, and had no
snow arch at its base, looked far harder to climb.
** Wow 1 '' said Peanut. " You win. I don't want
to climb here="
** Why, it's easy. You can climb where other
folks have," said the stout man, with a wink. ** Folks
have climbed all three of these cliffs."
" That one to the left ? " asked Peanut
" Sure," said the man.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 245
" What with, an aeroplane ? "
" With hobnail boots," said the other.
" I guess they had pretty good teeth and finger
nails, also," Frank put in.
A half mile more, and the trail ended at a great
mass of debris and broken rocks piled up in the shape
of a fan at the base of the head wall.
*'This is called the Fan," said the stout man.
" Here's where the job begins. Goodbye, boys."
" Oh, let's go up a way 1 " cried Art. ** If they can
do it, we can."
" Sure," said Peanut, as he saw the two men begin
to climb carefully over the broken fragments of the
" Oh, please ! " the rest cried.
" Well, just a short way," Mr. Rogers reluctantly
consented, *' if you'll agree to come down when I
give the order. We have no ropes, and we are none
of us used to rock climbing. I won't take the risk.
If we had ropes and proper spiked staffs, it would be
The Scouts, with a shout, started up behind the
two men, who had now ceased their rapid walking,
and were going very slowly and carefully. The
boys soon found out why. The footing on the rocky
debris of the Fan was extremely treacherous, and you
had to keep your eyes on every step, and test your
246 BOY SCOUTS
About fifty yards before the top of the Fan was
reached, the two climbers ahead turned to the right,
and made their way along a shelf on the ledge which
they called a " lead," toward a patch of scrub. One
by one, the boys followed them, using extreme cau-
tion on the narrow shelf. At the patch of scrub, they
could look on up the head wall, and see that the mass
of rocks which made the Fan had been brought down
by frost and water in a landslide from the top, and
made a gully all the way to the summit. To climb
the wall, you had to use this gully. It looked quite
hopeless, but the stout man started right up, the tall
man following him, zigzagging from one lead, or
shelf, to another. The boys followed.
** Gee," said Peanut, " wish it hadn't rained so
lately. These rocks are slippery. And I don't like
walking with the ground in my face all the time."
** I think it's fun," said Art.
'* Me, too," said Frank. '' But I don't Hke to look
They followed two or three leads up the gully, till
they were perhaps a hundred or a hundred and fifty
feet above the floor of the ravine below. Then Mr.
Rogers, looking up, saw Peanut, in the lead, looking
about for the next lead, and, after finding it, trying
with his short legs to straddle the gap between it
and the spot where he stood. His foot slipped, and
if Art hadn't been firmly braced right behind him, so
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 247
that he threw his shoulder under, Peanut would have
** Here's where we stop ! " said the Scout
Peanut was rather white with the sudden shock of
slipping. Still, he looked longingly up the gully,
toward the two climbers above, and said, ** Aw, no,
let's go on a little further ! "
** Not a step — remember your promise," Mr.
The boys turned reluctantly, and started down.
They found it far harder than going up. Going up,
you didn't see that almost sheer drop below you.
But going the other way, you had to see it at every
step, and it made you constantly realize how easy it
would be to fall.
Lou grew very pale, and paused on a wide bit of
shelf. " I'm dizzy," he said. *• Let me stand here a
minute. I can't help it. Makes me dizzy to look
Frank was directly in front of him below.
" You keep braced after every step, Frank," said
the Scout Master, '* and let Lou take his next step to
you each time before you take another. Better now,
Lou ? You'll be all right. Just keep your eye on
your feet, and don't look off.'^
They started down once more, and after at least
fifteen minutes reached the Fan in safety and then
248 BOY SCOUTS
the floor of the ravine. Lou sat down immediately
looking, as Peanut said, " some seasick."
" I guess I was never cut out for rock climbing,"
poor Lou declared. " I wouldn't have gone, and
worried you, Mr. Rogers, if I'd known it would make
me dizzy like that."
** You'd probably get used to it," the Scout Master
answered, '* but I guess we'll not experiment any
more just now, where there's no path. Look, our
friends are almost up."
The boys, who had forgotten the two men, turned
and saw them far above, working carefully toward
the summit of the wall. They shouted, and waved
their hats, and the men waved back, though the
Scouts could hear no voices.
" Gee, and folks have climbed those side walls,
too, eh ? " said Peanut. ** Believe me, real mountain
cUmbing is some work ! "
" It is, surely," Mr. Rogers saidc *' But in the
Alps, of course, people go roped together, and if
one falls, the rest brace and the rope holds him.
How would you like to climb that gully if it was
all ice and snow instead of rock, and you had to
cut steps all the way with an ice ax, for ten thousand
feet ? "
"Say, there'd have to be a pretty big pile of
twenty dollar gold pieces waiting at the top," an-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 249
" Oh, get out," said Art. " That isn't what makes
folks climb such places. It's the fun of getting
where nobody ever got before — ^just saying, * You
old cliff, you can't stump me 1 ' isn't it, Mr.
" About that, I guess," the Scout Master replied.
** There's some fascination about mountain climbing
which makes men risk their lives at it all over the
globe, every year, on cliffs beside which this one
would look like a canoe beside the Mauretania. I'm
glad we've had a taste of real climbing this after-
noon, anyhow, to see what it's like. Look, the
men have reached the top, and are waving good-
The boys waved back, and as the men disappeared
from sight, they themselves moved slowly down the
trail, toward the Raymond Path, looking up with a
new respect at the walls on either side, and specu-
lating how they could be climbed. Consulting the
Appalachian Mountain Club guide book, they found
no description of how to get up the west wall, but
the ascent of the eastern wall, to Nelson's Crag,
which was called **the most interesting rock climb
in the White Mountains," was described briefly.
The Scouts easily identified the gully up which the
ascent must be made, but nobody seemed very eager
to make it.
" No. sir," said Peanut, " not for me, till I've had
250 BOY SCOUTS
more practice on cliff work, and have bigger hob-
nails in my shoes, and can keep right on up."
** Still," said Frank, " people who go up places
like that in the Alps have to come down again."
" Sure they do," Peanut replied, " but they're
used to it. The older I grow, the more I realize
it doesn't pay to tackle a job till you're up to it."
" Hear Grandpa talk ! " laughed Frank. " You'd
think he was fifty-three."
"He's talking horse sense, though," the Scout
Master put in. " When we get home, we'll go over
to the cliffs on Monument Mountain some day, with
a rope, and get some practice. As a matter of fact,
those cliffs, though they are only two hundred feet
high, are steeper than these here, and you haven*t
any gully to go up, either. We'll get some Alpine
work right at home."
''I'll stay at the bottom, and catch you when you
fall off," said Lou, with a rather crooked smile.
" Gee, to think I'd go dizzy like a girl 1 "
** Forget it, Lou," Peanut cheered him. " 'Twasn't
your fault, any more'n getting seasick."
The afternoon shadows were all across Tucker-
man's Ravine when the boys once more reached the
camp. It was not yet five o'clock, and out behind
them the green summits of Carter and Wildcat and
Moriah across the Glen, and all the peaks to the
south and east, were bathed in full sunlight ; but
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 251
down in the great hole of the ravine the shadow of
Boott Spur had risen half-way up the east wall
toward the Lion's Head, and it seemed like twilight.
** Makes me want supper," Frank laughed.
" I got an idea," said Peanut. " Let's take a loaf.
Let's just sit around the camp-fire till supper, and do
'* Let's cut our mileage on our staffs," said Art.
'* Hooray ! "
Somebody lit the fire, for already the twilight
chill was creeping down from the snow-bank, and
Art put the pot of dehydrated spinach on to simmer.
Then everybody got out his knife and cut mileage.
" Only nine miles for yesterday I " said Art. " And
think of the work we did."
** One mile against that hurricane is about equal to
fifteen on the level, I guess," said Peanut. " Shall
we call it eight plus fifteen ? "
" You can, if you want to be a nature fakir," Rob
answered. ** What's the total to-day ? Who's got
the guide book?"
'* Let's see," said Frank, turning the pages. " Two
miles from the summit to the Lakes of the Clouds,
half a mile back to Boott Spur Trail, from the junction
with the Crawford Path over the spur to here, two
and a half miles — that's five. Then from here to the
snow arch and back, one and a half — six and a half.
Then a quarter of a mile to Raymond Path, half a
252 BOY SCOUTS
mile to Huntington Trail, two miles to the Fan ;
double it and you get five miles and a half. That
makes twelve miles, not counting our climb of the
head wall, or what we'll do later to-day."
" Guess we'll not do much more," said Peanut.
" Sure, we'll walk up the ravine and see the snow
arch by moonlight. Add a mile and a half more,"
said Art. *' Grand total, thirteen and a half. Golly,
you can get fairly tired doing thirteen miles on Mount
Washington, can't you ? "
'* And tolerably hungry," said Frank. " That
spinach smells good to me."
<< We're going to have bacon, and an omelet, and
spinach, and tea, and flapjacks," said Art. *' Doesn't
that sound good ? "
" Well, go ahead and get 'em ready," Peanut
said, flopping backward upon the old hemlock
boughs in the shelter, and immediately closing his
Nobody did nor said much for the next hour.
There came one of those lazy lulls which hit you once
in so often when you are tramping, and you just
naturally lie back and take life easy, half asleep, half
awake. It was half- past five, and getting dusky in
the ravine, when suddenly a hermit thrush in the firs
right behind the cabin emitted a peal of song, so
startling in its nearness and beauty that every one of
the six dozers roused with a start.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 253
" Say, that's some Caruso I " exclaimed Peanutc
He rubbed his eyes, and added, " What's the mat-
ter with you, Art? Where's supper? You're
fired I ''
Art laughed, and jumped out of the shelter, giving
orders as he went.
"Water, Lou. Rob and Frank, more wood.
Peanut, you lazy stiff, get out the bacon and light
the lantern. Mr, Rogers, more boughs for the
" Yes, sir," the others laughed, as they scattered
quickly on their errands.
It was dark when supper was ready, and outside
of the cozy shelter of the cabin and the great boulder
facing it, with the fire burning briskly, it was cold.
The boys had all put on their sweaters. But the
boulder threw the warmth of the fire back under the
lean-to, and they sat along the edge of it, their
plates on their laps, the fragrance of new steeped tea
in their nostrils, and of sizzling bacon, and made a
meal which tasted like ambrosia. The spinach was
an especial luxury, for this time it had soaked long
enough to be soft and palatable. Their only regret
was that Art hadn't cooked more of it.
" Let's soak some over night, and have it for
breakfast," Peanut suggested, amid hoots of derision
from the rest.
'' We'll have fresh bread, though," said Art. ** Vm
254 BOY SCOUTS
going to bake some in a tin box somebody has left
here in a corner of the hut."
" How'll you make bread without yeast ? " asked
Art produced a little sack of baking powder from
his pack. " With this, and powdered milk, and
powdered egg^'' he answered. " You make me up a
good fire of coals, and V\l show you."
He mixed the dough while the rest were clearing
up the supper things, greased his tin box (after it
had been thoroughly washed with boiling water)
with bacon fat, and put the dough in to rise. " FU
leave it half an hour to raise," he said, ** and go with
you fellows up to see the snow arch. Then I've got
to come back and bake it."
It was moonlight when they set out for the head of
the ravine, but the light was not strong enough to
make the path easy, nor to take away the sense of
gigantic black shadows towering up where the walls
ought to be. Peanut tried shouting, to get an echo,
but his voice sounded so small and foolish in this
great, yawning hole of shadows in the mountainside,
that he grinned rather sheepishly, and shut up.
The " baby glacier," as Rob called the snow-drift,
was like a white shadow at the foot of the head wall.
They could hear the brook tinkling beneath it, but
not so loud as by day. When the sun goes down,
the melting stops to a very considerable extent.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 255
And it was very cold near the icy bank. The boys
shivered, and turned back toward camp.
" We'll go with you, Art, and see you bake that
bread," said Rob.
But they didn't. While Art went on, the rest
made a side trip in to Hermit Lake, to see the
reflections of the moon and stars in the glassy water.
Not one, but a dozen hermit thrushes were singing
now in the thickets of fir. It was lonesome, and
cold, but very beautiful here, and the bird songs rang
out like fairy clarions.
"This is as lonely as the Lake of the Dismal
Swamp," Rob remarked, ** and as beautiful."
** It's a heap sight colder, though," said Peanut
Back in camp, they found Art with his tin of bread
dough propped on edge in front of a great bed
of coals, with coals banked behind it and on the
sides. The others kicked ofi their shoes and stock-
ings, put on their heavy night socks, rolled up in
their blankets under the lean-to, and, propped upon
their elbows, watched Art tending his bread, while
they talked in low tones.
One by one the voices died away to silence.
Finally Rob and Mr. Rogers were the only ones
awake. Then Mr. Rogers asked Rob a question,
and got no answer. He smiled.
** Well, Art," he said, " all the rest seem to think
256 BOY SCOUTS
you can get that bread baked without their help. I
guess I can trust you, too. Good-night."
" Good-night," said Art. " They^l be glad to eat
it in the morning, though I "
But Mr. Rogers didn't reply.
The Giant's Bedclothes
EVERYBODY was awake early the next morn-
ing, and glad to get up, for Tuckerman's
Ravine can be very cold, even in mid- July, and all
the boys had huddled together unconsciously in the
night, for mutual warmth. Art's suggestion that
they take a morning dip in the waters of the Cutler
River wasn't hailed with much enthusiasm.
" You know, it doesn't get exactly warm in the
mile between here and where it comes out of the
snow arch," said Frank, with a shiver.
" I want a bath, all right," said Peanut, " but I
don't want a refrigerator for a bathroom and ice
water in the tub. I'm no polar bear. Let's wait till
we get to some other brook."
" Gee, you're a set of cold-foot Scouts ! " Art
" And we don't want 'em any colder," laughed
"Why AoVityou go for a bath, Art?" asked Rob.
** It's no fun all alone," Art replied, rather sheep-
ishly, while the rest laughed.
258 BOY SCOUTS
The sun was not yet up as they got breakfast
ready, and the valley behind them and the ravine
ahead were full of white mist. Only the rocky
pinnacle of the Lion's Head to their right, and the
clifis of Boott Spur to the left stood up above the
vapor. The cofiee smelled good in the cold air, and
Peanut toasted a great piece of Art's bread, and
varied his breakfast by making himself scrambled
eggs on toast as a special treat. They broke camp
as the sun was rising, and by the time they had
climbed into the floor of the ravine the shadow of
the Lion's Head was beginning to climb down the
cliffs of Boott Spur, and in Pinkham Notch behind
them they could see the billows of white mist tossing
and stirring, Lou said exactly as if a giant was sleep-
ing underneath, and tossing his bedclothes.
** That's how Winthrop Packard, the bird expert,
once described it," said Mr. Rogers.
When they reached the snow arch, the path swung
to the right, and ascended a pile of debris which had
come down from the clifis above. When the path
had surmounted the arch, it turned to the left, and
passed under the overhanging cliffs at the top of the
head wall. It was very steep and rough, and at one
point was covered with snow, or, rather, snow packed
into ice. Here the going was extremely treacherous,
and the party moved slowly, with the utmost cau-
tion, using the staffs on every step. But they got
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 259
past without accident, and soon found themselves at
the top of the wall. At the top was a long sloping
"lawn,'* leading to the summit cone, the "lawn"
consisting of grasses and flowers and moss be-
tween the gray stones. They were in full morning
sunlight for a few moments, and every stone on the
summit pyramid stood out sharp against the sky.
But all the world below them, except the tops of the
surrounding mountains, was buried under the white
** Above the clouds ! " cried Peanut.
** But not for long," said Art. " Lou's giant is
picking up his bedclothes and coming after us ! "
Sure enough, as they looked back, they saw the
white mist rising from Pinkham Notch, sucking in
through Tuckerman's Ravine, and seeming to follow
them up the path. Already a wisp was curling over
Boott Spur and drifting slowly across the lawn.
" Ding it I " cried Peanut, " is it never clear on
this old mountain? Vm getting so I hate clouds.
This path is none too easy to find as it is."
" Well, let's keep ahead of the giant, then," Mr
They walked on more rapidly, noting that the wind
was actually from the north, a gentle breeze, just
strong enough to hold the rising vapors back and
let them keep ahead. Presently their path crossed
a dim trail which seemed to come from Boott Spur
26o BOY SCOUTS
and lead northeastward toward the Chandler Ridge.
It was the Six Husbands* Trail.
" Hooray, here's old Six Husbands/' cried Peanut.
** I sure want to go over it, and also know where it
got its name."
** Where does it go to, anyhow ? " somebody else
They stopped for a moment to trace the trail on
the map, finding that it started at Boott Spur, skirted
the cone of Washington on the south and east,
dipped into the bottom of the Great Gulf, and as-
cended the shoulder of Jefferson, ending on the peak
of that mountain.
" The last two miles up Jefferson must be some
climb I " Art cried, looking at the contour intervals —
" right up like the wall of a house I "
" Let's take it I " shouted Peanut.
** Perhaps we can take it, out of the Gulf," Mr.
Rogers answered. " But now we've got to get to
the Tip Top House. Don't you want your copies of
Adoz>e the Clouds ? "
" Gosh, I'd forgotten them," said Peanut.
They resumed the climb, and were soon traveling
more slowly, up the steep summit cone. They could
not see the top, and they could see nothing below
them because of the following mists. The path was
merely a dim trail amid the wild, piled up confusion
of broken rocks. Before they reached the end of it
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 261
too. the clouds had reached them, and they made the
last few hundred yards enveloped in the giant's bed-
*' Bet he was damp in 'em, too," said Pea-
The coach house and barn burst upon them sud-
denly, out of the fog.
The boys rushed at once up the steps to the Tip
Top House, secured their copies of Above the Clouds ^
and read Rob's account of the storm, which the ed-
itor had cut down till it was only half what Rob had
written, much to everybody's indignation. While
they were reading the paper, buying sweet chocolate
and sending post-cards home, the clouds thinned out
on the summit, and when, at eight o'clock, they
again stepped out-of-doors, there seemed to be every
prospect of a splendid day, with a gentle northerly
wind to cool the air.
'' Now, our objective point is the Madison Hut,
over there to the northeast at the base of the summit
cone of Madison," said Mr. Rogers. ** We'll spend
the night in the hut, and go down the next day to
Randolph, through King's Ravine, and catch a train
home. There are two ways of getting there. One
is to go over the Gulf Side Trail, along the summit
ridge of the north peaks, the other, and much the
harder way, is to descend into the Great Gulf and
climb up again, either by the Six Husbands' Trail,
262 BOY SCOUTS
the Adams Slide Trail, or the trail up Madison from
the Glen House.'*
*' Me for old Six Husbands ! " cried Peanut.
" I want to go along the tops/* said Lou, " where
you can see off all the time."
" So do I," said Frank.
" I'm for Peanut and the Six Husbands," said Art.
" Suppose we split for the day," Rob suggested.
" ril go with one half, and you go with the other,
The Scout Master looked at the sky and the hori-
zon. The day held every promise of fine weather,
and he assented. " All right," he said, ** I'll take
Lou and Frank over the north peaks, and you take
the others down the head wall of the Gulf, past
Spaulding Lake and the Gulf camp, to the Six Hus-
bands' Trail, and then come directly up that to the
Gulf Side Trail near the cone of Jefferson. When
you reach the Gulf Side Trail, if the weather is clear,
leave your packs by the path, and go on up to the
top of Jefferson and signal to us. We'll be waiting
on the top of Adams, at four o'clock. If it's not
clear, come right along the Gulf Side to the hut."
** Hooray ! Signaling from one mountain peak
to another ! That's going some ! " cried Peanut.
*' But why wait till four?" asked Art. *' Accord-
ing to the map, we haven't more than eight miles to
go, half of it down-hill."
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 263
Mr. Rogers smiled, *' WeUl leave it at four
o^ clock, though," he answered. '* If you think you
can beat that schedule, all right. Maybe we'll be on
The party now went down the steps to the car-
riage road, and swung along down that for a quarter
of a mile. Then they turned off to the left by the
Gulf Side Trail, and walking over the rough stones
with grass between drew near the head wall of the
Great Gulf. Soon they were at it. The Great Gulf
is a gigantic ravine between the huge eastern shoul-
der of Mount Washington, called the Chandler
Ridge, and the three northern peaks of Madison,
Adams and Jefferson. Mount Clay, the fourth of
the north peaks, and the one next to Washing-
ton, is almost a part of the head wall of the Gulf.
The Gulf sides are very precipitous, and as the boys
looked across it to the shoulder of Jefferson, where
the Six Husbands' Trail ascends, Lou and Frank
began to laugh.
*' Glad we haven't got to climb that to-day ! " they
''Lazy stiffs," said Peanut. "What's that! A
mere nothing ! " But he grinned dubiously, even as
** Well, we're in for it now," said Rob, '* so come
" Oh, I'm coming," Peanut replied.
264 BOY SCOUTS
" Now, Rob, one last word," said the Scout Master.
" Fm giving you the map. Follow the trails agreed
on, and promise me not to leave 'em, even for a
dozen feet. You are entering unknown country, and
dangerous country. Go straight down past the Gulf
camp, and you'll pick up the Six Husbands about a
quarter of a mile below — maybe less. Goodbye.
Signal, if clear, when you get to Jefferson. If worst
comes to worst, go back to the Gulf camp, or if you
are on the range, go to the shelter hut just east of
Jefferson, on the Adams- Jefferson col."
Mr. Rogers, Lou and Frank waved their hands as
they watched the other three plunge over the edge
of the head wall, and begin to descend the two thou-
sand feet of precipitous rock pile which dropped down
to where Spaulding Lake lay like a mirror amid the
trees at the bottom of the Great Gulf. Then they
shouldered packs again, and set out toward the three
summits of Clay, just ahead of them, the first stage
of their journey over the north peaks to the Madison
Hut. The morning was clear and fine now, and they
could see for miles upon miles out over green valleys
and far blue mountains, while the rocky pyramids of
Jefferson, Adams and Madison ahead of them, rising
about five hundred feet above the connecting cols,
seemed near enough, almost, to hit with a stone,
though actually the nearest, Jefferson, was two miles
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 265
** We've got nearly all day for a six mile hike," the
Scout Master said. '* Let*s take it easy and enjoy
So we will leave them climbing slowly up the slope
of Clay, and descend the Gulf with Rob, Art and
With Rob, Art and Peanut Into the Great
ROB, Art and Peanut were making time down
the head wall, but they were also using up shoe
leather, for the wall of the Great Gulf is composed
of innumerable loose stones, often of a shaly nature,
with sharp edges, which turn under the foot. The
head wall trail, too, because of its steepness, is not
so much used as many others, and at times the
Scouts had some difficulty in keeping it. It grew
warmer as they descended out of the breeze into the
still air of the Gulf, and, as Peanut said, his forehead
was starting another brook. They reached timber
line in a short time, and before long were in the
woods beside Spaulding Lake, where in spite of the
leaf-mould on the bottom they paused long enough
to strip and have a quick bath in the cold water,
which was, however, warm by contrast with some of
the brooks they had tried. Then they resumed the
trail down the floor of the Gulf, beside the head
waters of the Peabody River. The path was rough,
full of roots and wet places, and it descended con-
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 267
stantly, with waterfalls beside it, and through open-
ings in the trees here and there glimpses of the great
cliff walls of Jefferson and Adams to the left. The
thrushes were singing all about them, and they came
upon several deer tracks, and once upon the mark of
a beards paw in the mud. They kept looking, too,
for the Gulf camp, but it did not appear.
" Say, this old trail is longer than I thought,^' said
Peanut, " or else there isn^t any Gulf camp."
At last, however, after nearly an hour's tramping
from Spaulding Lake, they saw smoke through the
trees ahead, and came upon the camp, which was a
lean-to like that in Tuckerman's, with the opening
placed close up against the perpendicular wall of a
big boulder, to throw the heat of the fire back into
Two young men, badly in need of shaves, were
'* Hello, Scouts," they said,
" Lunching early, aren't you?" asked Rob.
The men laughed. " This is breakfast," they said.
" We decided to-day to have a good sleep, and we
did, all right — thirteen hours ! Came over Craw-
ford's and down the head wall yesterday. Going
out to Carter's Notch to-day. Where are you
" We are bound up the Six Husbands to the Madi'
son Hut," the boys answered.
268 BOY SCOUTS
The two men whistled. " Well, good luck to you,"
they said. " But glad we're not going with you ! "
" Why ? " Peanut demanded.
" Because it goes right up the shoulder of Jeffer-
son. Have you seen the shoulder of Jefferson ? "
•' Sure," said Art. " What of it ? "
** Well, if you had to work as hard as that, you'd
make an awful fuss ! " one of the men laughed.
" You talk just like my father," said Peanut.
** Why is it called the Six Husbands' Trail — if you
know so much about it?" he added.
" Search me," the man replied, *' unless because
it would take six husbands to get a woman up
The boys laughed, and went on their way. They
soon came to the trail itself, and struck up the Six
Husbands at last, headed directly for the cliffs of
Jefferson and Adams, which seemed to be towering
over their heads.
" It does look like a job, and no mistake 1 " cried
*' Well, if somebody can put a trail up it, we can
follow 'em, I guess," cried Art. " This is something
like mountain climbing ! "
But for half a mile the trail didn't ascend much.
It followed up a brook, and seemed to be headed for
the ravine between Adams and Jefferson. Presently
they came to a fork in the trail, where the Adams
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 269
Slide Trail branched off to the east. Here there was
a spring, labeled Great Spring on the map, where
they filled their canteens, and taking the left fork,
the Six Husbands, began at last the real ascent of
Jefferson. There was no longer any doubt about its
being an ascent, either. The map showed that from
the Great Spring to the crossing of the Gulf Side
Trail at the summit cone of the mountain was little
over a mile, but that mile, as Peanut said, was stood
up on end. They plugged away for a while, toiling
upward, weighted down with their packs and blan-
kets, which had increased in weight at least fifty per
cent, since morning, and then decided to eat lunch
before the fuel gave out.
It was hard work chopping up fire-wood from the
tough, aged, and gnarled stumps of the dwarf spruces
which alone could grow on this cliff side, but they
got a blaze at last, and made tea and cooked some
bacon — the last they had. It was one o'clock be-
fore they were through, and Rob, seeing that Peanut
was pretty tired and Art pretty sleepy, ordered a
rest for an hour. They spread out their blankets
and lay down, in a spot where there was the least
danger of rolling off, and soon the two younger boys
were fast asleep.
Rob didn't go to sleep. He watched an eagle
sailing on still wings out over the Gulf, and pres-
ently, to his consternation, he saw a thin wisp of
270 BOY SCOUTS
vapor curling around the ridges far above on
Adams. Southwestward, the slopes of Washington
were clear, but there was surely cloud coming above
them, and they on a little used trail, without Mr.
Rogers ! Rob's heart went suddenly down into his
boots, and he felt a cold sweat come. Then he
pulled himself together.
" Fool ! " he half whispered. " If we keep on up,
we are bound to hit the Gulf Side Trail. And didn't
Mr. Rogers say that if you kept cool you were much
better off? Brace up, old Scout !^'
He waited till his heart had stopped thumping,
and then he waked the other two.
"We've got to be climbing again," he said;
" there's a cloud coming over Adams."
"Say, there's always a cloud coming, seems to
me," said Peanut. " Well, come on then. Gee, I
was having a good sleep ! "
The three boys rolled up their blankets, and re-
sumed the trail, first taking a good look at the map
and fixing the compass direction. The clouds were
now plainly visible above them, both around the
tops of Adams, Madison and JeflFerson, and evidendy
over on Clay, too. But behind them, across the
Gulf, Chandler Ridge was in clear sun, and they
could see a motor car going up the carriage road,
and even hear a faint cough from its exhaust.
"This is no storm, it's evidently just a wandering
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 271
cloud/* said Rob. "But we'd better make all the
distance we can in clear going,"
They toiled upward for a full hour, almost hand
over hand in places, with the cloud still above them
and the Gulf clear below, before they got into the
under curtain of the vapor, and began to have
trouble in finding the trail. They were feeling
their way cautiously, compasses in hand, when sud-
denly Art, who was leading, uttered a cry, and
pointed to the unmistakable cross path of the Gulf
Side Trail, carefully maintained and worn by many
feet. There was a sign, too.
" Hooray ! Here we are ! Can't miss that trail ! "
yelled Peanut, his feeling of relief escaping in a
shout which used up all the breath left in his lungs.
There was, to the amazement of the Scouts, an
answering shout from somewhere southwest of them,
coming out of the fog — a faint call which sounded
like" Help r^
First Aid in the Clouds !
"*¥ ^THATS that?" all three exclaimed.
VV Facing in the direction whence the sound
seemed to come, they put their hands around their
mouths, and shouted together, " Hoo-oo 1 "
Again there was a faint reply.
" It's down the Gulf Side Trail, and a bit west I "
cried Art. " Come on ! '*
" Easy ! " cried Rob. " We don*t want to go
rushing off the trail this way, or we^l be lost, too.
Here, let's go south on the Gulf Side, until the
shouts are directly west of us» and then strike in
toward 'em. Keep yelling as we go."
The answering halloo grew nearer as they moved
south on the Gulf Side, and presently it seemed
quite close, to the west. The boys struck off toward
it, over what seemed almost like a rocky pasture
there was so much mountain grass at this spot, and
in a hundred yards or so they came upon a man
and two women, one of the latter seated on the
ground moaning, her face pale with pain, while the
other was rubbing her ankle.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 273
** Thank God I " said the man, as the Scouts ap-
** But they're only boys ! " added the woman who
was not hurt, her face clouding with disappointment.
She looked as if she had been crying.
The injured woman, however, said nothing. Rob
took one look at her, and saw that she was fainting.
He caught her just in time to keep her from falling
backward upon the rocks.
" Here, hold her ! " he said brusquely to the man,
while he unslung his pack and fished for the aromatic
spirits of ammoniac
She came to in a moment.
" Lost ? *' asked Rob.
" We were walking from Washington to the
Madison Hut," the man answered, *'and this cloud
came, and we lost the path coming down Mount
Clay. Are we far from it now? We have been
wandering blindly, getting more and more con-
fused, and finally this lady sprained her ankle."
" She ought to have high boots on, not low
shoes," said Rob ; ** especially a woman of her
" Get me down the mountain somehow," the in-
jured woman moaned. " Til never come on a trip
like this again ! "
" We can't carry her far," said Art, bluntly, '* she's
too heavy. " We'll have to get help."
274 BOY SCOUTS
" Let's get her to the trail," Rob suggested, " and
then one of us will have to go for help. What's
nearer, Washington or the Madison Hut ? Look at
the map, Art."
" We must be on the edge of the Monticello Lawn
on the south shoulder of Jefferson," Art replied.
"It's about an even break, but it's nearer to Adams,
where our crowd is waiting for us."
" Well, we'll get her to the path, and decide," Rob
said. " Stretcher I "
The boys made a stretcher with their coats and
staffs, and Rob and the man took the ends, while
the woman, who was large and heavy, was helped
up, groaning with pain, and sat on it. It was quite
all they could do to carry her, and the poles sagged
dangerously. Art went ahead with the compass,
walking almost due east, and they reached the Gulf
Side Trail and lowered the stretcher.
" Now," said Rob, " two of us had better go for
help to Adams. Art, you and I will, I guess. Pea-
nut, you wait here and make the lady as comfort-
able as you can in our blankets."
" Hold on ! " Peanut cried. " See, the cloud is
breaking up ! Maybe we can signal. That would
The clouds were surely breaking. They didn't so
much lift as suddenly begin to blow off, under the
pressure of a wind which was springing up. The
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 275
top of Jefferson was visible through a rift even as
the party watched, and presently a shaft of sunlight
hit them, and the whole upper cone of Jefferson was
revealed, a pyramidal pile of bare, broken stone.
**Give me the staffs and two towels," Peanut
cried. *' I'll have help here in half an hour ! "
Rob went with him, and the two Scouts, forgetting
how weary they were, began almost to run up the
five hundred feet of the summit cone, without any
path, scrambling over the great stones without
thought of bruised shins.
When they reached the peak, the clouds were en-
tirely off the range — they had disappeared as if by
magic — and the sharp cone of Adams to the north-
east, almost two miles away in an air line, was
plainly visible. As they stood on the highest rock,
a flash of light sprang at them from the other
" Hooray ! " Peanut cried, *' theyVe there ! They're
flashing a mirror at us I"
" More likely the bottom of a tin plate," said Rob.
**Where'd they get a mirror? Out with your
signals ! "
Peanut tied a white towel to the end of each staff,
and standing as high on the topmost rock as he
could, held them out. Against the blue sky, on the
peak of Adams, the two boys saw two tiny white
specks break out in answer. They were so far away
276 BOY SCOUTS
that it was very hard to follow them, to keep the two
" Oh, for a pair of field-glasses ! " Rob cried. ** Do
you think they can get us ? "
*• If we can get them, they can," Peanut answered.
*' Here goes ! ''
*' Woman hurt, bring help. Gulf Side," he sig-
naled, very slowly.
They both watched, breathless, for the answer,
but it was impossible to make out whether they
were understood or not.
" Here, you take one flag, and stand up here ;
you're taller," Peanut said, jumping off the rock.
** rU stand below you. That'll separate the two
more. Now, again ! "
Very slowly, holding each letter a long time, and
running a few steps to left or right with their flags,
they signaled once more, the same message.
This time they saw the answering flags change
position. " Good old Lou, he's done the same
trick," Peanut cried. " Look, I can read it now ! ''
" I can't," said Rob.
"Well, I can G-o-t-y-o-u ! Got you!"
Peanut shouted. '* They'll be here ! How long
will it take 'em?"
" Oh, half an hour, I should say," Rob answered.
'* Come back, now. Maybe the woman has fainted
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 277
" Gee, why do people try to climb mountains when
they don't know how ? " said Peanut, as they
descended again toward the little group of figures
" Help is coming ! " they cried, as they drew near.
" Well, you boys were certainly sent by Provi-
dence ! " the man exclaimed.
They all made the injured woman as comfortable
as they could while they waited. There was still a
little water left in the Scouts' canteens, and they made
a cold bandage around her ankle, which Rob decided
was not broken. Then there was nothing to do but
sit and wait. It seemed hours, though it was really
less than thirty minutes, when over the east shoulder
of Jefferson, where the Gulf Side Trail skirts the pre-
cipitous wall down into the Great Gulf, came the
rescue party, almost on the run — Mr. Rogers, Frank,
Lou, and four men.
One of these men, it speedily turned out, was a
doctor, and he took charge at once, while Rob
watched him admiringly, for Rob was going to be a
doctor, too. He felt of the injured ankle carefully,
while the patient winced with pain.
'* No broken bones," he said, " just a bad sprain.
You should wear stout, high boots for such work,
(" Just what we told her," Art whispered.)
"And now," the doctor added, "she's got to be
278 BOY SCOUTS
carried to the nearest point on the railroad. Jim,
you start along now to the summit house, and tele-
phone down for a train to be sent up immediately.
We'll get her to the track at the point where the
West Side Trail crosses, just below the Gulf
" How far is it ? " asked the Scouts.
" Two miles,'' the doctor answered, " but we can
do it all right. You boys have done enough to-day.
We are going that way anyhow, and you are going
"Couldn't we take her to the Madison Hut?'*
" That would be a great help I " the doctor said.
** How would we get her down the mountain from
there ? "
" I hadn't thought of that," said Frank.
Meanwhile, one of the four men had picked up his
pack again and was striding rapidly down the trail
toward Clay, headed for Mount Washington and the
telephone. The other three trampers, and the man
who had been lost with the women, made a new
stretcher of their staffs and coats, put the woman on
it, and started after him.
The Scouts begged to help, but the doctor said
** Twice a day over the Gulf Side is enough for
boys of your age/' he declared. " We can get on all
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 279
right You go back to the hut — and take it easy,
The man and both the women who had been
rescued said goodbye to Peanut, Rob and Art over
and over, shaking their hands till the boys grew em-
" Heaven knows what would have become of us if
they hadn't heard our shout ! " the uninjured woman
exclaimed, again close to tears. " We were lost, and
Bessie was hurt, and we'd have perished I "
" Not so bad as that," the doctor said, with a
smile, *• because the cloud cleared, and you'd have
found the path, and we four would have come by just
Peanut's face clouded. He had thought of him-
self and his two companions as rescuers, and here the
doctor was proving that if they hadn't done it, some-
body else would I The doctor evidently guessed his
thoughts, for he added :
" That's not taking away any credit from these
Scouts, though. If we hadn't happened to be headed
for Washington you would undoubtedly have been in
bad trouble, and if the cloud had lasted longer, you
might have been in for a night on the mountain with-
out shelter, and that never did anybody any good.
Pretty good work for the boys, I think I "
Peanut looked happy again, and the two parties
shouted gooc^bye to each other, as those with the
28o BOY SCOUTS
stretcher moved down the trail toward the distant
railroad trestle, and the Scouts moved northward,
toward the Madison Hut.
Then Peanut suddenly realized that he was tired.
He was more than tired — he could just about drag
one foot after the other. Art was not much fresher,
and even Rob said if anybody should ask him to run
fifty yards, he'd shoot 'em.
They passed the Six Husbands' Trail, swung around
north of Jefferson onto the knife-blade col between
that mountain and Adams, passing Dingmaul Rock,
a strange shaped boulder called after a mountain
animal which is never seen except by guides when
they have been having a drop too much. Peanut
laughed at this, but he grew sober and silent again
when it was passed, and when the trail swung to the
left of Adams, rising over the slope between Adams
and the lesser western spur called Sam Adams, he
didn't even grin when somebody suggested that they
climb Adams, which is 5,805 feet, the second highest
mountain in New England.
" Go to thunder," was his only comment.
Once they had toiled up the slope, however, they
looked down-hill all the way to the Madison Hut, and
in thirty minutes they had crossed the Adams-Madi-
son col and reached the stone hut tucked into the
rocks at the base of the cone of Madison, the last
peak of the Presidential range.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 281
With one accord, packs and blankets were dropped
off weary shoulders to the ground, and the three
Scouts who had been into the Gulf that day flopped
down on top of them, and lay there exhausted. The
other three had already been to the hut and left their
** Well, I guess youVe had enough husbands for
one day, eh ? " said the Scout Master. '* And you'd
better not lie there, either. Come on, inside with
you, and lie in your bunks/^
Peanut Learns Where the Six Husbands*
Trail Got Its Name
IT was, in truth, getting cold on the mountain, and
the wind was freshening as the sun set. They
moved wearily into the hut, and found three tiers of
bunks inside, like a ship's cabin, and a stove giving
out pleasant heat, and the caretaker getting supper
"No cooking to-night,** said the Scout Master.
"You three climb up and lie down till supper is
Rob, Art and Peanut made no objection to this
order, and soon, from their bunks, they were dis-
cussing the day*s adventures with the other three.
" We had a wonderful day ! '* said Lou and Frank.
" We climbed every one, of the north peaks except
Madison — Clay, Jefferson and Adams — and we got
almost to the hut here before the cloud came. Gee,
what views ! We kept looking down into the Gulf
for you, but we never saw you. It was lots of fun
climbing back up Adams in the cloud.**
"Well, we had some day ourselves, believe me
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 283
Judge ! " said Peanut. '* We had a swim in Spauld-
ing Lake, and a long hike in the woods down at the
bottom of the Gulf, and then the Six Husbands*
Trail. Say, that's a trail I "
" My pack weighed a hundred and twenty-nine
pounds before we got to the top,'' Art added.
" And then, when we saw the clouds above us, we
hurried, too," Rob said, "so we could reach the
Gulf Side path before they closed down too far, and
that took our wind."
" And then Peanut let out a Comanche yell when
we did strike the Gulf Side," put in Art, " with all
the wind he had left "
" Which wasn't much," said Peanut.
" and out of the cloud, off southwest some-
where we suddenly heard a faint call for * Help ! '
It sounded awfully strange, kind of weird-like, way
up there in the clouds."
"Wonder if they've got the woman down by
now ? " said Frank.
" Lucky that doctor and the other three men were
hiking along here," Lou put in, " or we'd have had
to carry her to the railroad and then walk way back
over the whole Gulf Side Trail again."
" Not me," said Peanut. " I'd have kissed the
mountains good-night, and got aboard the train
" Where did you strike those four ? " asked Rob.
284 BOY SCOUTS
" They were at the hut when we first got there at
two o'clock, waiting for the cloud to break," said
Mr. Rogers. " They came up Adams with us to see
you fellows signal, for they said the cloud wouldn't
last long. Good trampers, they were, on their an-
nual vacation up here. They know every path like
The Scouts were discussing signaling and its
uses, and Rob was saying that it made him tired to
hear people say the Scouts were taught to be war-
like, when signaling had proved so valuable that
very day as a means of saving life in peace, instead
of taking it in war — when steps were heard outside
the hut, and a second later two men stood in the
" Hello, any room?" they said.
" Come in," said the caretaker.
The two men entered. They were rather elderly
men, or at least middle aged, with gray hair ; but
both of them were tanned and rugged, the type you
learn to recognize as the real trampers on the White
Mountain trails. They made themselves at home at
once, tossing their small packs into a corner. They
had no blankets, but both of them carried botanical
" Where from ? " asked Mr. Rogers.
** Jackson," they said. ** We came up Tucker-
man's yesterday to the Tip Top House, and spent
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 285
this morning getting specimens on Bigelow Lawn.
We've just come over the Gulf Side."
" Did you meet four men carrying an injured
woman?" the boys asked.
" Carrying her where ? "
" To the train."
•* They were taking her along the West Side Trail,
from Monticello Lawn, where she sprained her
ankle," Mr. Rogers added. "One of them went
ahead to the summit to telephone."
*'Oh, that explains it!" the two strangers said.
** We met him just as we were turning out of the
carriage road into the trail. He was going about
ten miles an hour. And when we got up on Jeffer-
son, we saw a train climbing the trestle, and won-
" Hooray, she's safe ! " shouted Peanut. " Bet she
never tries to climb in low shoes again, though."
Supper was now served, and the combined parties
sat down to it. The boys told the newcomers of
their day's adventures, and Peanut suddenly shot
out, " Say ! Can you tell me why it's called the Six
One of the men laughed. "I surely can," he
"Well, for Heaven's sake, do, then," Rob said.
" He'll never be happy till he knows."
'' You came down the head wall of the Gulf, you
286 BOY SCOUTS
say ? " the man asked. ** Well, did you notice the
first waterfall you came to after you reached the
bottom of the wall and started down toward the
Gulf camp ? "
"Gee, there was nothing but waterfalls/' said
** Exactly, but there are some real falls on the
trail, though, and some which are only rapids.
Anyhow, the upper fall was named in the summer
of 1908, by Warren W. Hart, a Boston lawyer who
cut the trail up to the head wall. Weetamo Fall, he
called it, in honor of Queen Weetamo, the sister-in-
law of the famous Indian chief, King Philip. Maybe
you boys know all about her ? "
*' Know about King Philip," said Peanut, " but
can't say I'm intimate with his sister-in-law.'*
** That's a pity," said the man, "because she was
a fine woman. Her husband. King Philip's older
brother, Alexander (or Wamsutta) was also a chief.
After he died, Weetamo married again, several
times, each time seeking to bind the New England
tribes into a stronger alliance. Some say she
married three times, some say five or more. Mr.
Hart, when he cut the new trail you boys came up
this afternoon, decided to give the lady a liberal
allowance, so he made it six. The Six Husbands'
Trail is named in honor of the husbands of Weetamo,
the Indian chieftainess."
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 287
" There, Peanut, now you know ! " laughed Art.
" I like it, too," Peanut declared. *' I don't see
why more of these mountains and places aren't
named after Indians, or with Indian names, like
Moosilauke and Pemigewassett and Ammonoosuc.
Why should this mountain be called Madison, for
instance ? He didn't discover it, or even ever see it,
'* Who did discover the White Mountains, by the
way ?" asked Rob. " I never thought of that before."
The same man who had answered before again
replied. He seemed to know all about these hills.
" Mount Washington, which was named in the first
years of Washington's administration, when all sorts
of things were being named for him, was the first
mountain climbed in the United States," he said.
" Darby Field accomplished it in 1642, after a trip
of exploration in from the coast, through the then
vrackless forest. The only account of the trip is in
Governor John Winthrop's journal, which you'll find
in your public library, or it ought to be there, if it
isn't. Field was accompanied by two Indians. It
took them eighteen days to get here and back. At
the foot of the ascent was an Indian village, but
these Indians dared accompany him no nearer the
top than eight miles, as they never climbed moun-
tains. His own two Indians went on with him.
From the fact that his ascent was, he says, for the
288 BOY SCOUTS
last twelve miles over bare rocks, he evidently came
up over the southern ridges somewhere, possibly the
Giant's Stairs and Boott Spur. The north peaks
were not explored and named till 1820, less than a
hundred years ago. Lafayette, over in Franconia,
was not climbed till 1826."
"But weren't there any Indian names for these
mountains ? " Peanut persisted.
" They called the whole Presidential range, or
perhaps the whole White Mountains by the name
Agiocochook," the man answered. "I'm afraid my
knowledge ceases there. Our forefathers didn't
make any special effort to learn what the Indians did
call things, or to respect their names any more than
their lands. Certainly we've done badly in our
naming. Clay, for instance, and Franklin, were
never Presidents, yet their names are given to two
peaks in the Presidential range ; and Mount Pleasant
isn't even named after a statesman. I agree with
our young friend here, and like better the names
of the Sandwich range to the south, Chocorua,
Passaconaway, Bald Face. Those are either Indian
names, or are suggestive of the appearance of the
" Right-o," said Peanut.
It was now dark outside, and clear and cold.
The Scouts went out into the windy starlight, and
looked far down into the valley to the north, where
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 289
the lights of a small town glittered, and filled their
lungs with the bracing, fresh air. Then they one
and all turned in, and though the two new arrivals
were talking with the caretaker of the hut, it wasn't
five minutes before all six were fast asleep.
Through King's Ravine and Home Again
ART was not the first one up in the morning.
When he opened his eyes, he saw the care-
taker of the hut moving about the stove. Nobody
else was astir in the Scouts' party, but through the
open door Art saw the two men who had arrived the
previous evening standing on the rocks, looking off.
It was full daylight I
Art climbed hastily down out of his bunk and
** Lemme 'lone ! I got to climb this rock ! " said
** What do you think you're doing ? You've got
to get up ! " laughed Art.
" Whaz 'at ? " said Peanut. Then he opened his
eyes, stared into Art's face, and added, *' Hello !
Why, I'm awake 1 "
Meanwhile, the others had waked, also. Rob
looked at his watch. ** Six o'clock ! " he exclaimed.
'' That's what comes of sleeping in bunks. All up,
and have a look at the weather ! "
The weather seemed propitious. The north peaks
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 291
were all out, and the great shoulder of Chandler
Ridge on Washington, across the white mists which
filled the Great Gulf, looked like a stone peninsula
thrusting out into a foamy sea. There was only a
slight wind, and the sun was pleasantly warm al-
"How's the grub holding out?" asked Mr.
Rogers. ** If we have breakfast cooked for us in-
side, it will cost us something. Have we enough
left for breakfast and lunch? We'll have to get
supper on the train."
'' Train ! Gee whiz, I don't want to go home I
Let's stay another week," said Frank.
"That's the talk!" Peanut cried. "Let's go
down in the Great Gulf and get some trout, and
live on them."
" I'll shoot a bear with a bow and arrow," Art
added. " We'll need the meat, too, for we've not
got more than enough for one good meal — except
vegetables. We've got a lot of spinach left, 'cause
we've hardly ever stayed anywhere long enough to
soak it, unless we'd had it for breakfast."
Peanut fished in his rear pocket and produced his
purse. " I've got enough to buy breakfast, if the
caretaker'll sell us any, and a sleeper home," he
announced. " Golly, though, where's my return
ticket ! "
He began searching wildly in all his pockets,
292 BOY SCOUTS
while the others investigated their pocketbooks, to
see if they had their tickets. Peanut finally dashed
back into the hut, and discovered his in his pack.
The tickets were from Fabyans, however, and as
they would reach the railroad at Randolph, some
miles east, there would be a small extra fare. All
the boys had money enough left for the trip, and for
breakfast as well.
*' I'll shout you all to supper on the train," said
Mr. Rogers. " Let's save all our grub for a whack-
ing big farewell luncheon in King's Ravine, and buy
breakfast here, eh ? "
** You're on," the Scouts replied, and they has-
tened back into the hut, where the two men joined
them. The caretaker finally agreed to give the boys
breakfast out of his own stores, though he didn't
seem very keen about it. Usually, he only cooks
meals for visitors at the hut when they provide the
" How do you get the food up here ? " Peanut
" The birds bring it," he said.
** You think you're Joshua, don't you?" Peanut
" Why ? " asked the man, looking puzzled.
"'Cause he was fed by the ravens. Wake up
and hear the birdies," Peanut laughed. " Now will
you tell me ? "
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 293
The man grunted, and made no reply.
('* I suppose he has to pack it up from Randolph,"
one of the men whispered. " It*s no cinch, either.'')
Breakfast over, the boys paid fifty cents each for
their night's lodging, and a dollar and a half for
cooking dinner and the breakfast. Then they set
out for the summit of Madison, before descending to
the railroad. The sharp cone of Madison rose di-
rectly behind the hut. Indeed, you could step from
the roof of the hut in the rear out onto the rocks.
It was only a twenty minute climb, without packs,
for the hut is 4,828 feet above the sea, and Madison,
the last of the Presidentials, is only 5,380. From the
top they had their last high prospect, and they drank
it in to the full. Eastward, they looked out over the
ravine of the Peabody River to the timbered slopes
of the Moriahs and Carter's Dome, another group of
mountains which lured their feet. Beyond them was
the state of Maine. Southward, over the Great Gulf,
was Chandler Ridge, with the Chandler River leap-
ing down its steep side, like a ribbon of silver.
Southwestward lay the bare stone pyramids of
Adams and the two lesser Adamses (Jefferson was
hidden) and finally the great bulk of Washington to
the left of Clay, lying high above them all, far off
against the blue sky. Due west, they looked down
into the yawning hole of King's Ravine. It was a
mighty prospect of bare rocks piled more than a
294 BOY SCOUTS
mile in air, of great gulfs between them, of far green
valleys and far blue hills.
** Oh, I like the mountains ! " cried Lou. " I want
to come to the mountains every year I I want to
stand up under the sky and see off — way off, like this ! "
" That goes for me, too, even if I can't say it so
pretty," declared Peanut.
Reluctantly, they descended from the cone, picked
up their packs at the hut, and with Peanut throwing
back a final " Goodbye, Josh," to the caretaker, they
hit the Gulf Side Trail for a scant quarter of a mile,
swung off of it to the right, and stood presently in a
kind of gateway of great stones, with the world drop-
ping out of sight between the posts.
" Look back ! " said Mr. Rogers.
They turned. Behind them, framed by the huge
stones of the natural gate, rose the cone of Madison
against the blue sky — that and nothing else.
** Goodbye, Maddie," said Peanut.
"Au revoir," said Lou. "See you again next
summer, maybe ! '*
They turned once more, and at once began to
drop down the head wall of King's Ravine, a ravine
almost as fine as Tuckerman's, discovered and ex-
plored by the Reverend Thomas Starr King in 1857
and named after him.
*' Say, this trail has the Six Husbands' guessing,"
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 295
"Glad I'm not going up," said Frank.
** Well, nothing is steep to me after the head wall
of Huntington," Lou said. '* I can see something
under my feet here, at any rate."
The descent was rapid, for they dropped 1,300
feet in the five-sixteenths of a mile to the floor of
the ravine, which means an ascent of 4,160 feet to
the mile. Anybody good at mathematics can reckon
out what this angle is. The boys estimated it
roughly as they were descending at about seventy
degrees. Nobody had time to figure it on paper,
however, and when they got to the bottom, there
was too much else to see. Anyhow, it was steep
They found the bottom of the ravine strewn with
great boulders which had fallen down from the cliffs
on three sides. Some of them were as big as houses,
and in a cave under one they found ice. Two paths
led down the ravine, one over the boulders called
"Elevated Route for Rapid Transit," the other "The
The guide book said the latter took longer but
was more interesting.
" The Subway for us I " cried Peanut.
So they took the Subway, and though it was not
a second Lost River, this path took them by a tor-
tuous route through several caves, and under many
an overhanging boulder, where the air was chill and
296 BOY SCOUTS
there were strange echoes. Again, at the lower end
of the ravine, they descended rapidly for half a mile
by a steep way, into the woods again at last, and
finally stopped by a brook for the farewell lunch.
The last of the powdered eggs, spinach soaked
and boiled as long as they dared wait, till it wasn't
too tough to eat, the last of the bacon from Lou's
and Mr. Rogers' packs, a single small flapjack apiece,
a quarter cake of sweet chocolate for each, and tea,
completed the repast. After it was over, they care-
fully burned all the wrapping paper and Art blazed
a tree and printed on the fresh wood, " Farewell
Camp," and the date. Then under it they all wrote
It was less than two miles from this point out to
the railroad and for the first time in many days they
were walking on almost level ground. Before long,
the woods opened, and they came out on the mead-
ows of Randolph. Across a field in front of them
lay the railroad track and the tiny station. They
dropped packs on the platform and turned to look
at the mountains. Only the north peaks were visi-
ble — Madison, Adams and Jefferson — three pyra-
mids against the sky.
" Golly, how funny it feels to be down on the level
again ! " said Peanut.
** And how far away they look ! Think, we were
up there only this morning ! " said Frank.
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 297
" And how small our hills will look when we get
home," said Lou.
** Well, anyhow," put in Art, " cheer up and think
how good some of mother's pies will taste."
" There's something in that," laughed Rob and
The train soon came, and carried them by a round-
about route to Fabyans, where they had to change
to the night train down the Connecticut valley. At
Fabyans, where the big Fabyan Hotel sits beside
the railroad, they bought some more souvenir post-
cards and Peanut got a pound of very sticky candy
which Mr. Rogers said would spoil his supper,
whereat he answered, ** Wait and see ! " They could
see from here the whole south range, culminating in
the peak of Washington, and thus could follow their
adventurous climb over the Crawford Bridle Path.
Again, the peaks seemed very far off, and Lou said
it was like a dream to think that they had been walk-
ing way up there only a few days before.
Once aboard the train, they secured berths for the
night, and began to think of supper. Mr. Rogers
was true to his word— -and so was Peanut. He pro-
vided — -and Peanut ate.
*' What's a pound of candy to an empty tum ? "
said Peanut. ** Besides, Frank and Art ate most
They had a last faint glimpse of Lafayette against
298 BOY SCOUTS
the twilight at Bethlehem junction, and then the
train moved on through the darkness.
'* Well, it's goodbye mountains," said Rob.
*' Let's fix up our mileage."
Each Scout got out his precious staff, battered
now, with the end pounded into a mushroom by the
hard usage on the rocks, and cut the mileage for the
day — five miles was all they could make it, even with
the trip up the Madison cone included.
-' Disgraceful ! " said Peanut. " Five miles 1
Bah ! "
*' But the day before isy^/r," said Art, " consider-
ing the Six Husbands' ! "
'* Let's see, have I got it right ? " asked Peanut.
*' Mile and three-quarters from Tuckerman hut to
Washington, three and a half miles to Six Husbands',
mile and a half to sprained ankle, mile up Jefferson
and back, three miles to the hut — that's ten and
three-quarters miles, and I guess we can call it
eleven, all right, and some up and down hill, take it
from me I "
** Well, we did more'n that," said Frank ; ** we had
the mile and three-quarters from Tuckerman's, six to
the Madison Hut along the Gulf Side, and three back
to you folks, and three back to the hut again. That's
thirteen and three-quarters, and we took in the sum-
mits of Jefferson and Adams, so w^e can call it an
even fifteen. Some up and down for us, too.'*
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 299
"Well, eleven over the Six Husbands' will stand
off your fifteen," Peanut declared ; *' won't it, Rob ? "
" I think it will," said Rob, " but let's not fight
about it. What's the grand total ? "
" Eight the first day," said Art, " from Sugar Hill
station to camp ; ten up Kinsman ; twenty-one on
Moosilauke ; seventeen in Lost River and on to the
Flume camp for you fellows, and eighteen for Peanut
and me ; sixteen over Lafayette ; ten on Cannon and
in Crawford's; nine on the Bridle Path, fighting
storm; thirteen and a quarter in Tuckerman's and
Huntington — let's call it fourteen, 'cause we climbed
the Huntington head wall a way ; eleven for half of
us in the Gulf, and fifteen for the rest ; and five on
the last day. What does that make ? "
Rob, who had put down the readings on a bit of
paper, added the total. " One hundred and twenty-
one for half of us, one hundred and twenty-six for
the rest," he said.
"About a hundred and twenty-five miles in ten
days," said Mr. Rogers. " Well, that's not so bad,
when you're toting a pack and a blanket, and fight-
ing clouds and hurricanes, and shinning up Six Hus-
bands' trails. Are you glad you came, boys ? "
" Are we ! " they shouted, in one breath. " You
bet I "
" We haven't done so awful much real scouting
though," added Peanut.
300 BOY SCOUTS
** Why not?" said the Scout Master. "It seems
to me we have. WeVe been prepared, haven't we ?
We've handled ourselves in storms and clouds, we've
helped other folks, we've known how to signal for
aid from one mountain top to another, we've kept
ourselves well and hardy in the open, and we've had
a bully good time. After all, we've put a lot of scout
lore into use, when you come to think of it. That's
what scout lore is for — to use, eh, Peanut ? "
" Guess you're right. Gee, you're always
right ! " said Peanut. " I say three cheers for
Mr. Rogers, the best Scout Master in America I
Now, one *'
" Sh I " said Rob. " We all agree, but the man in
that next berth is snoring already. He might not
agree I "
" Well, I can snore as loud as he can," cried Pea-
nut, " if I get the chance. Let's turn in. And to-
morrow A. M. we'll be in old Southmead ! Golly,
wish I was in the Great Gulf ! "
** You couldn't tell the other fel!ers what a good
time we've had, if you were," said Art.
*' That's so," Peanut reflected. " Aw, the stiffs !
I hadn't thought about 'em till just this minute. The
stiffs ! Think of the fun they missed ! "
It was eight o'clock the next morning when the five
Scouts and Mr. Rogers, tanned and lean, with shoes
battered and worn thin by the stony trails, marched
IN THE WHITE MOUNTAINS 301
up Southmead Main Street from the railroad station,
and found the village just as they had left it.
" It's all here, as if we'd never been away 1 '* said
" But we are changed," said Lou. " We've got
pictures in our heads, and memories, that we didn't
have before. We've lifted up our eyes unto the
hills ! "
** And our feet, too," said Peanut. " Yes, sir, we
are changed. These old Southmead hills haven't
grown smaller, but our eyes have grown bigger."
'* You're a psychologist, Peanut," laughed Mr.
•* I'm a hungry one, whatever it is," Peanut replied.
*' Hope ma has saved some oatmeal."
** So do I ! '*
*' So do I ! "
" So do I ! "
** So do 1 1 "
** We seem to have the same old appetites, any-
how ! " laughed Rob, as the White Mountain hike
ended at the post-ofifice, and the six hikers scattered
for their homes.
Walter P. Eaton
SKY-LINE CAMPS. A Notebook of a Wanderer
in our Northwestern Mountains. 320 pp. Cloth,
boxed, $2.50. A gift book for every home.
Mr. Eaton is a great lover of the out-of-doors and in this volume
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PENGUIN PERSONS AND PEPPERMINTS. A Vol-
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Mr. Eaton is here at his best as he writes of the beauties of country
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Appreciation of Nature, ranging from Massachusetts to Mont-
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Beautifully illustrated by Walter King Stone.
Cloth, boxed, $2.50
Frank H. Cheley
BOY RIDERS OF THE ROCKIES; or CAMP-
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14 full page illustrations from the author's own
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A true story of a wonderful boys' camp high up
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A standard and beautifully illustrated book of
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CAMP-FIRE YARNS; or FAMOUS STORIES
TOLD AROUND THE CAMP-FIRE.
352 Pages. $1.50.
No boy or man has ever forgotten those evenings
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Mr. Cheley's selections are the choicest which
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320 Pages. $1.75-
A fascinating story of the search for gold in the
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352 Pages. $1.75.
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Every father in the country should read these
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He says: "This job of being a dad to a real boy is
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Arthur C^ Bartlett
SPUNK, LEADER OF THE DOG TEAM.
The mainspring of this story is found in those
dog sled races which have become an outstanding
event of our northern New England season of
winter sports. '
Spunk — strong, masterful, intelligent that he
was — won his place in the heart of his master and
as leader of the dog team through weeks and
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THE SEA DOG.
The Sea Dog is a real dog — noble, brave, self-
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LEWIS E. THEISS
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^y William Drysdale
** Brain and Brawn'' Series
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A STORY OF THE LIFE-SAVING SERVICE, 318pp
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W. A. WILDE COMPANY
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War of the
Each Volume Fully Illustrated
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